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delay the repair of certain aircraft carriers. one that's currently being built might not get finished. another carrier might not get started at all, and that hurts your bottom line. that hurts this community. . that's money out of their pockets. money out of their paychecks. and then that means there's going to be a ripple effect on thousands of other jobs and businesses and services throughout the commonwealth, because approximate they don't have money in their pockets or less money in their pockets, that means they're less able to afford to buy goods and services from other businesses. so it's not just restricted to the defense industry. all told, the sequester could cost tens of thousands of jobs
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right here in virginia, but it doesn't just stop there. if the sequester goes into effect, more than 2,000 college students would lose their financial aid. early education, like head start and early start, would be elimb flatted -- eliminated for nearly 1,000 children and 18,000 fewer virginiaans would get the skills they need to find a job. across the country, these cuts will force federal prosecutors to close cases and potentially let criminals go. air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks and that could cause delays at airports across the country. tens of thousands of parents will scramble to find childcare for their kids. hundreds of thousands of americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screelings, including
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more than 3,500 children right here in virginia. so these cuts are wrong. they're not smart. they're not fair. they're a self-inflicted wound that doesn't have to happen. now, the reason that we're even thinking about the sequester is because people are rightly concerned about the deficit and the debt. but there is a sensible way of doing things, and there's a dumb way of doing things. i mean, think about your own family, right. let's say suddenly you have a little less money coming in. will you say, we'll cut out college tuition for the kid, we'll stop feeding the little guy over here, we won't pay our car note even though that means we can't get to work? that's not what you do, right? you step back and you say, what is it that's important?
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our child's education, making sure they're healthy, making sure we can get to the job, keeping our house, you know, repaired and then you say, here are the things that aren't so important and you cut those out. you prioritize and you make smart decisions. well, we should be doing the same thing. now, i've laid out a plan that details how we can pay down our deficit in a way that's balanced and responsible. we have the plan right on a website, the white house website. everybody can go see it. it details exactly how we can cut programs that don't work, how we can raise money by closing loopholes that are only serving a few as opposed to the average american. we detailed $930 billion in sensible spending cuts that we're willing to make and $580 billion in wasteful tax
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loopholes and deductions that we're willing to eliminate through tax reform. and what i've said is if the republicans in congress don't like every detail of my proposal, which i don't expect them to, i've told them my door's open. i'm more than willing to negotiate. i want to compromise. there's no reason why we can't come together and find a sensible way to reduce the deficit over the long term without affecting vital services, without hurting families, without impacting outstanding facilities like this one and our national defense. there's a way of doing this. and the fact is there are leaders in both parties throughout this country who want to do the same. i've got to give scott rigell credit. he's one of your republican congressman that's here today and that's not always healthy
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for rapp to be with me. the reason he's doing it is because he knows it's important to you and he's asked his colleagues in the house to close tax loopholes instead of letting these things go through. he wants to make tough cuts but he wants to do it in a smart way. bobby scott, same thing. some of the cuts we proposed, bobby might not think are perfect but he knows we got to make some tough decisions. he just wants to make sure that you are not the ones adversely impacted and we're sharing down the sacrifice in bringing down the deficit, we're not just dumping on a few people and not doing it in a dumb way. senators like john mccain have made similar statements to what scott said. your republican governor, along with other governors around the country, said they want congress to stop the sequester, stop these cuts.
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but i just have to be honest with you. there are too many republicans in congress right now who refuse to compromise even an inch when it comes to closing tax loopholes and special interest tax breaks. and that's what's holding things up right now. keep in mind nobody's asking them to raise income tax rates. all we're asking is to consider closing tax loopholes and deductions that the speaker of the house, john boehner, said he was willing to do just a few months ago. he said there were a bunch of loopholes and deductions you could close. said you could raise $800 billion, $1 trillion by closing loopholes. we're not even asking for that much. all we're asking is that they close loopholes for the well-off and well connected, for hedge fund managers or oil companies or corporate jet owners who are all doing very well and don't need these tax loopholes so we can avoid laying off workers or kicking
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kids off head start or reducing financial aid for college students. i don't think that's too much to ask. i do not think that's partisan. the majority of the american people agree with me. the majority of new port news agrees with me -- newport news agrees with me. we need to get this done. [applause] but the choice is up to congress. only congress has the power to pass a law that stops these damaging cuts and replaces them with smart savings and tax reform. and the second i get that bill on my desk i will sign it into law, but i got to get congress to pass it. none of us will get 100% of what we want. democrats, they've got to, you know, make some tough choices too. democrats like me, we've said we're prepared to make some tough cuts and reforms,
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including the programs like medicare. but if we're willing to compromise, then republicans in the house have to compromise as well. that's what democracy's about. that's what this country needs right now. so -- [applause] let me just make one last point, by the way, for those who are following this. lately some people have been saying, well, maybe we'll just give the president some flexibility. he can make the cuts the way he wants them, and that way it won't be as damaging. you know, the problem is when you're cutting $85 billion in seven months, which represents over a 10% cut in the defense budget in seven months, there's no smart way to do that. there's no smart way to do that. you don't want to have to choose between -- let's see, do i close funding for the disabled kid or the poor kid?
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do i close this navy ship yard or some other one? when you're doing things in a way that's not smart, you can't go on with the pain and the impact it's going to have on the economy. the problem is, virginia, we can't cut our way to prosperity. we can't just cut our way to prosperity. we can't ask seniors and working families like yours to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. we're not going to grow the middle class just by shipping the cost of health care or college on the families that are already struggling or forcing communities to lay off more teachers or cops or firefighters or shipbuilders and then folks who are doing really well don't have to do anything more. that's not fair.
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and it's not good for the economy. and the other thing we got to do is stop having these crises manufactured every month. seems like -- i know you guys must get tired of it. didn't we just solve this thing? now we got another thing coming up? [applause] i mean, the thing if mike peters ran his business this way. once every month or two there would be some crisis and you wouldn't be sure whether or not you were working or not. even if it got solved, eventually or ultimately it would be pretty discouraging on people. you would be less productive. ships wouldn't get built as fast. you'd waste money because you don't know exactly what to expect. folks aren't sure. am i showing up today or not? if it's not a good way to run a business, it's sure not a good way to run a country.
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[applause] now all of you, the american people, you've worked too hard for too long rebuilding and digging our way out of the financial crisis back in 2007 and 2008 to just to see congress cause another run. the greatest nation on earth can't keep on conducting its business, drifting from one crisis to the next. we got to have a plan. we got to invest in our common future. our true north is growing an economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. it provides the people the skills it needs to get those jobs and making sure you're getting paid a decent wage to support your families. that's what we should be focused on, not weakening the economy, not laying people off. [applause]
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that's what we should be talking about in washington. and if you agree with me, i need you to make sure your voices are heard. let your leaders know what you expect of them. let them know what you believe. let them know what this country was built on was a sense of obligation to not just each other but to future generations, that we got to shoulder those obligations as one nation and as one people. you know, i was in a conversation with some of the governors from across the country yesterday, and i told them. i said, i have run my last election. michelle is very happy about that. [laughter] i'm not interested in spend. i'm not interested in playing a blame game.
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at this point all i'm interested in is solving problems. all i'm interested in is making sure there when you get up early in the morning and get to this shift at 5:30 in the morning that you know if you do a good job and if you work hard and if you're making sure that all the parts of this incredible ship that you're building is where they need to be, if you're doing what you do, then you can go home feeling satisfied, i did my job, i did my part, i can support my family, i can take pride in what i've done for this country. that's all i want. i want us to look back five years from now, 10 years from now and say we took care of our business and we put an end to some of these games that maybe
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i guess are entertaining for some but are hurting too many people. but in order for us to make that happen, i'm going to need you. the one thing about being president is after four years you get pretty humble. you'd think maybe you wouldn't but actually you become more humble. you realize what you don't know. you realize all the mistakes you make. you realize you can't do things by ourself. that's not how our system works. you got to have the help and the good will of congress. and what that means is you got to make sure that constituents of members of congress are putting some pressure on them, making sure they're doing the right thing, putting an end to some of these political games. so i need you, virginia, to keep up the pressure. i need you to keep up the effort. i need you to keep up the fight. if you do, congress will listen. if you stand up and speak out, congress will listen.
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and together we will unleash our true potential and we'll remind the world just why the united states builds the greatest ships on earth and is the greatest nation on earth. thank you. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> some news. majority of senators have backed chuck hagel as the next defense secretary, confirming him to the position by a vote of 58-41. and that vote wrapping up in the senate about five minutes ago. the national journal writes that chuck hagel was confirmed as defense secretary with deep cuts to the pentagon budget set to hit three days later. after months of defense department officials forecasting armageddon and with congress unable and unwilling to prevent the steep spending cuts, he will be entering his role as a crisis.
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that in the national journal. and to recap, chuck hagel has been confirmed as new defense secretary but the senate voting 58-41. and in our primetime schedule starting at 8:00 eastern time on c-span, debate from the senate floor on chuck hagel's nomination. on c-span2, remarks from attorney general eric holder on reducing gun violence and gun control laws. on c-span3, the senate finance committee holds a hearing on automatic budget cuts and who will -- with the fiscal problems. house republican leaders today said that the president and senate democrats bear responsibility for avoiding $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that begin on friday. house speaker john boehner starts this 10-minute briefing on capitol hill. >> the president, as you are all aware, insisted that he not
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have to go over the debt ceiling twice and insisted that the backstop for the work of the supercommittee be the sequester. but i don't think the president's focused on trying to find a solution to the sequester. the president has been traveling all over the country, and today going down to newport news in order to use our military men and women as a prop in yet another campaign rally to support his tax hikes. now, the american people know the president gets more money he'll spend it. the fact is he's gotten his tax hikes. it's time to start focusing on the real problem here in washington and that's spending. the president has known for 16 months that this sequester was looming out there. when the s.p.r. committee failed to come to an -- when the supercommittee failed to come to an agreement. for 16 months the president has been traveling all over the country holding rallies instead of sitting down with senate
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leaders in order to try to forge an agreement over there in order to move a bill. we have moved the bill in the house twice. we should not have to move a third bill before the senate gets off their ass and begins to do something. >> good morning. the speaker said the president's going to be in newport news, virginia, and talking to families in the commonwealth. i tell you, i'm concerned about families in the commonwealth. i'm concerned because they're concerned about their future and the uncertainty which looms because of this sequester. now, the president has said, well, he wants a compromise, but if you take a look what's going on, there's been four years of spending increases and now the president says, we can't have any progress on this sequester unless we get the second tax hike in eight weeks. that's not compromise. then he says, your choice is going to be taking criminals off -- letting criminals out of jails and onto the streets or give me a tax increase.
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that's not compromise. that's a false choice. you know, we have tried in the house, as the speaker said, again to bring forward measures that actually accomplish reform and cut spending. we've even taken things that the president had in his very own budget to say, please join us, and he won't accept those proposals unless we raise taxes. now, it's time for the senate to come together with us, sit down with the president and let's get this resolved for the american people. >> as many of you know, you've heard about this argument for quite sometime. let's put it in perspective. this idea came from the white house when the house passed the bill twice, what did the president do? he threatened to veto if we dealt something different on sequestration. now as the time looms, the president does exactly what he continues to do. he does a road show.
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the fundamental question here the president has to decide, does he want to be president of a political party or does he want to be president of the united states? it is time for leadership. it is time for him to engage and come down one mile, deal with the senate if he really wants to lead. >> we are three days away from the president's plan unless the senate takes action. the president proposed the sequester, the across-the-board cuts that disproportionately impacts our military, and now he's on the road in newport news today, over 180 miles from washington, d.c. he's traveled over 5,000 miles the last two weeks, and we challenge him, mr. president, travel a mile and a half up here to capitol hill, sit down with harry reid and urge the senate democrats to take action.
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the president says this is a bad idea, but yet he's not put forward an alternative idea. the republicans in the house have twice taken action, twice passed legislation. the first time 300 days ago. what we need is for the president to stop using this as an excuse to raise taxes and turn it into an opportunity to start saving taxpayer dollars, start spending money more wisely. the american people, moms, dads, seniors, college students, children, they shouldn't be forced to lose their jobs or lose the opportunities that this country has to offer. it's time to get serious about the spending, and we need the president to lead and get off the campaign trail. >> a proud kansan by the name of william allen white once said something to the effect that the truth will always come out as the facts are fairly and honestly on display.
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so let's review the facts. the facts are the sequester was the president's idea. it's a fact the house has twice passed legislation to replace the sequester with smarter cuts and reforms. it's a fact that the senate has twice rejected our replacement and has set up another financial crisis. and it's a fact that the president threatened to veto any replacement to the sequester. it's also a fact that these cuts amount to about 2.5% of the federal budget. find me an american family, a hardworking taxpayer that hasn't already cut over 2% out of their budgets at home without cutting essential things. there's a fact that says that we are going to take in more money this fiscal year than we have ever taken in before. the budget this year, we will spend more money this year than we spent last year even if the
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sequester goes into effect. we will spend more money even if the sequester goes into effect. the fact is when we accepted the president's sequester 18 months ago, we made a deal. a dollar for cuts for a dollar of spending -- debt limit increase. if you wants to do the bait and switch now, we will have lied to our constituents by replacing those with tax increases. this leads you to the truth and the truth is the president needs to come back from his campaign-style tour, stop scarring people and work with us -- scaring people and work with us and get people back to work. >> yeah, we've aid said the across-the-board spending reduction needs to be more targeted. that's why the house passed something last may to replace the sequester. that's why the house also passed in december last year to say this is a better way to do
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it. we have overspent the federal budget by $1 trillion now five years in a row. we cannot continue to do that. and so this perpetual statement of let's just postpone it, let's delay it another month is the wrong way to do it. as has already been mentioned, this year will now be the highest amount of revenue in the history of the country. with the tax increases that just came onboard of the fiscal cliff of negotiations, now tax revenue will be the highest ever in the history of the nation. this is not an issue if we have a little more in taxes we will solve this, we are spending more than we ever have. we have got to slow down our spending to stabilize our economy so american families are not dealing with the crisis they're dealing with. >> mr. speaker, i wanted to ask you if you think your position will be embolden if you voted a third time. every time you talk to a house democrat they say these two votes in the last congress,
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their numbers have changed. they were narrow votes. >> it's time for the senate to act. it's not about the house. we've acted. where's the president's plan to avoid the sequester? have you seen one? i haven't seen one. all i've heard is he wants to raise taxes again. where's the president's plan? where is the senate democrats' plan? i want to see it. >> mr. speaker, you talked about the regular order of things. i spoke to -- no intention to be here friday or over the weekend if the sequester hits. if the president is successful, why not have the house ready to go to conference -- >> if the senate acts i'm sure the house will act quickly. >> if the sequester hits? >> if the senate acts i'm sure the house will act quickly. >> giving the president flexibility on the sequester [inaudible] >> you know, our goal is to make sure that the government
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is in fact funded, that there's no threat of a government shutdown. and we've been working with our members talking with our colleagues in the senate about how best to enact a continuing resolution to keep our government funded. >> last question, mr. speaker. you said the president has been campaigning all day. all you guys have been doing is press conference. i understand you want the senate to act. don't you end up looking like -- >> the house has done its job. we've passed a bill twice to replace the sequester. when are they going to act? when's the senate going to act? where's the president's plan to replace the sequester? i'm anxious to see it. thanks. >> house democrats told capitol hill reporters today that house republican leaders should schedule a vote on their plan to avoid the automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on friday. the democrats' briefing is 15 minutes.
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>> we ready? good morning. we've just concluded another house democratic caucus meeting where we were able to have an extensive discussion about the consequences of not watching congress get its work done because we are not going to be around. it's difficult to say because we get elected to do work for the american people, but after finishing a nine-day recess where we were not in town and seeing how we only have three days to go before these across-the-board, senseless cuts to services that each and every american depends upon about to take effect and slowly begin to strangle the opportunity for our economy to continue to grow and for americans to continue to go back to work, we find ourselves in a position where in a short
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two days we're going to recess again without trying to deal with this meat ax approach to budgeting. and so we had an important presentation by gene sperling, the president's economic director -- his economic counsel. i think we're in agreement in unison on the house democratic side ready to stay until we can get our work done. we believe that we can come up with a balanced bipartisan solution to the fiscal challenges our country faces, but we don't believe we have to cut and run and leave town right before the consequences of these across-the-board cuts are prepared to land on the heads of all american families. four years ago, if you'll recall, this country was
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hemorrhaging jobs. some 800,000 americans lost their jobs in one month, january of 2009. the month that president bush handed the keys to the white house to newly elected president barack obama. this past month we saw 160,000 private sector jobs created. so more than 160,000 americans went back to work. in the past six months, more than six million americans have went back to work. that's progress. we need to continue that progress. and the last thing we can do is create manufacture, put before the american public, more crises that lets the american economy to really launch and to let the american people to know they can hire more of their fellow americans or to be secure that they can send their kid to college or buy that new home. it's time for us to get our work done.
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the president and democrats have put a balanced bipartisan plan on the table. if our republican colleagues don't like it, we would hope they would put a balanced bipartisan plan on the table and then we can get our work done. we're prepared to stay here until that happens because we don't think that we should let a mindless across-the-board cut on the services that people depend on take effect when this is simply a manufactured crisis. and with that let me yield now to our leader who has led us in this fight to get the work done for the american public. >> i thank mr. crowley for bringing us together this morning to hear a report from the white house about the impact of sequester on our economy and on jobs and how it affects individuals in our country. we just come back from -- what -- a 10-daybreak. we've listened to members as to what they heard from the public and what our constituents are telling us to get the job done.
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we're doing just that with a proposal under the leadership of chris van hollen, our ranking democrat on the budget committee. he'll talk about our proposal which we had on the table for a while. our chairman talked about jobs. month after month after month of private sector job increases , remarkable, that can be reversed if we have the sequester which is harmful to growth and harmful to job creation in addition to being harmful. for example, members told me that psychiatric nurses who deal with ptsd of our returning vets who will be furloughed, is that what the american people want? i don't think so. we're practically, when you talk about jobs, that's one thing. you talk about time. we've been gone for 10 days. we come back. we'll be gone by thursday by 3:00 when we have a deadline facing us. we're practically becoming a
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drive-by congress, a drive-by congress when we have important work to do. the republican leadership says we passed bills last year. i remind them that was a different congress. that doesn't count in this congress. the republican leadership says, let the senate begin. i remind them that the constitution says that appropriations and revenue bills must begin in the house. so we have important work to do. the american people want us to work together. we want something big, bold, balanced and bipartisan. the republicans say kicking the can down the road. i don't think they're kicking the can down the road. i think they're nudging the poe fateo across the table with their nose. there's not much -- potato across the table with their nose. there's not much that is being accomplished. this is completely irresponsible. it's mindless. most people don't even know what the word sequester means. sequestration equals unemployment. sequestration, we don't want it, and we can work here to make sure we get the job done.
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so again i salute the president of taking the message to the american people. i believe what the republicans are doing with their sequestration one deadline after another, little deadline after another is a subterfuge. we want to pass gun legislation, we want to create jobs. we have important work to do here. we really do have a day job instead of just this job of avoidance behavior that the republicans are putting forth. so again let's be positive. let's take the lead of mr. van hollen or patty murray in the senate with proposals that cut spending, increase revenue, create growth with jobs. i yield back. >> mr. clyburn, our assistant leader. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, madam leader, thank you very much. pushing the potato across the
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table with the nose. fair and balance. fair and balance. fair and balance. it's a term our republican friends are very familiar with. in fact, it's the motto of their favorite source for news, but for some strange reason when it comes to governance, they seem to not have a great deal of respect for that approach. all democrats are asking for is for there to be a fair and balanced approach to avoiding sequestration. now, you may recall that when the budget control act was passed, i think mr. boehner said he was very pleased with it. because he got 98% of what he
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wanted. the fact of the matter is that budget control act had in it about $1.4 trillion in cuts. now we came back later last year, did around $600 billion in revenue. it is now time for us to come to the table and put both cuts and revenue on the table so that we can move forward in a fair and balanced way. the president has laid out some proposals, not to say that i am pleased with everything that he's laid out. the fact of the matter is that may be one reason that can be called fair and balanced.
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i believe the time has come for our republican friends to get serious about what cuts are. i do not understand how closing loopholes that favor big oil companies that are making record profits can be called a tax increase. i don't see how eliminating these tax preferences for things like corporate jets can be considered fair when we are asking seniors to give up some of their security when we're asking young people to postpone their educational pursuits. that's not the way to offer the american people a fair and balanced approach. so we believe that we ought to stay here until we do something
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that will be fair and balanced and get us beyond this manufactured crisis that seems to be revisited every three months. with that i'd like to yield to mr. crowley. >> thank you, jim. no matter how you slice it, no matter how you cut it, these automatic spending cuts will be devastating to the american economy. we know it. house democrats know it. and a majority of the american people know it. in the recent polls 60%, although they may not understand what sequestration is, they know these spending cuts will be devastating to our economy. i think you have to ask yourselves a couple questions. one is, do our republican colleagues listen to their constituents? because i know when i go to my constituency, they're asking about 800,000 people who will be potentially laid off by the
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department of defense, what impact that will have during a time of war. my constituencies are asking me about longer lines at the airports because t.s.a. employees will be furloughed. they're talking to us about food inspectors and the quality of food inspection when people begin to be laid off from food inspection. those are the kinds of questions our constituents are asking us. i don't know what role my republican colleagues are living in if they're not hearing from those constituents. these cuts, automatic cuts will be devastating, will have an effect. it may take some time to roll out but leave in doubt they will have an incredibly debilitating effect on our economy. one other question you have to ask, why is it that when america seems to be getting their foot on the ground and the economy begin to improve do we have another crisis, another manmade crisis in this case
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that our republican colleagues have created for us? we have a fair and balanced plan, as mr. clyburn has said. house democrats have it and senate democrats have a fair and balanced plan. let's do it. let's take this cliff away from the american people. with that i'll turn it over to the ranking member of the budget committee, chris van hollen. >> thanks, joe. as my colleagues said, but it bears emphasis, sequester is washington speak for massive job loss. that's not the president's number. that's not our number. that's what the independent nonpartisan congressional budget office says will happen between march 1 of this year and the end of this year if you allow sequestration to go for the remainder of the year. 750,000 american jobs lost. one third less economic output in this country for the rest of this year. that is a huge hit on jobs and
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the economy when we're still trying to move the economy forward. so you would think we would all be able to unite behind a solution or at least have a vote on a proposed solution. house democrats have put forward a solution that accomplishes the same amount of long-term deficit reduction without losing 750,000 jobs and we do it in a balanced way through a combination of cutting spending. for example, we cut the excessive subsidies to ag programs in the form of direct payments. and we cut some of the spending in the tax code that's going to special interests. so we get rid of the special tax breaks for big oil companies and we ask very wealthy individuals, people making $2 million more a year, to have their tax preferences limited so they're not paying a
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lower affected tax rate than the people who are working for them. so that's our alternative. and you can like it or not like it but at least give us a vote on that in the house of representatives. at least let the american public see whether you prefer that alternative that we put forward to 750,000 jobs lost. and so this afternoon we'll go to the rules committee in the house for the third time this year and ask for an up or down vote on that balanced alternative to the sequester. three times whereas our republican colleagues, how many times have they proposed a solution this congress, this year? zero. zero times. so we should be focused on solutions. at least let us have a vote on an alternative to prevent 750,000 jobs from being lost. >> before we go to questions, i want to add one quick point. my understanding is that speaker john boehner just said in a press conference or
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somewhere publicly that the house has done its work, that house republicans have done what they need to do on the sequester and therefore they're done and used some pretty colorful language and said it's now up to the senate to get it done. let me debunk that. there is no bill that the house of representatives has passed under this republican leadership that can go to the senate that will stop these mindless cuts to people services taking effect. speaker boehner may be talking about legislation that was very partisan, that the house of representatives under republican leadership passed last year. but i don't think i need to give the speaker a lesson in legislating or how government runs, but whatever was done last year that didn't get signed into law has evaporated. it is gone. it does not exist. this is a new year, a new
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session of congress. and it's time for everyone to get to work. the house republican leadership must get to work in giving people a balanced bipartisan plan. and it's not enough to say we did something in the past. it's about what we do today for our future. >> and now more about those automatic budget cuts with republican members of the house armed services committee. virginia congressman randy forbes and rob writman introduced a bill that would redistribute those cuts that would begin friday. this is 25 minutes. >> good afternoon, and we want to welcome all of you here. thank you for coming today. we all know you have a busy day. we have busy days but i'm delighted to be here with you today. i'm congressman randy forbes from virginia's fourth congressional district. and i have the privilege of
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joining with a friend of mine, the chairman of the house armed services committee, subcommittee on readiness, rob whitman from virginia's first district. we are going to be -- rob wittman from virginia's first district. we are going to let you ask questions. as you know we're facing this looming deadline for sequestration. i have always felt sequestration was a bad idea. i thought it was a bad idea when the president proposed it. i voted against it. i fought to try to get the president not to sign it. i lost both of those fights. after that, rob and i have actually been working the last year with other members of congress trying to raise the awareness of sequestration across the country when very few people were talking about it. we launched an event in virginia approximately a year ago to try to begin raising these questions. we traveled across the country, tried to talk to people and let
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them know that we would be right here today where we are. we believe that sequestration will have an enormous in virginia. we will probably suffer more than anybody in any state, but from a strategic point of view, anyway you look at it we have a perfect storm. we need to put in context it's really three things that are happening right now to national defense in this country. the first one is, as many of you know, we've already taken over half trillion dollars of cuts to national defense. i think that was far too many cuts to make. they were done at a point that i think put us in a very, very difficult point in time strategically. as many of you know, even before we get to sequestration, the army was ready to cut over 80,000 individuals from the army. we didn't hear anything from the army for the last year or so since sequestration passed relative to those cuts. then in addition to that, as we
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know, with our ships we have had independent panel that's talked about the fact that we needed 346 ships in the navy based on testimony we had before both of our subcommittees. we know that testimony has been our combatant commanders would need a fleet as high as 400 to 500 ships. the navy has always said wed a least need 313 ships. they've now reduced that to 306. there's some double counting. it's really 300. and the budget has taken them below the 300 figure. it only reaches there in 2038, long time down the road. to get there they had to decrease the deployments for our men and women in uniform from six-month deployments to seven-month deployments. all of that before we get to the point of sequestration. the final part of that is the air force has testified they've been at a declining state of readiness since 2003, and yet we have another half
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trillion-dollar cut that we have seen coming to the air force. that brings us to where we are today which is in addition to those cuts, we have the fact that we passed a defense approps bill out of the house. the senate has pailed to pass a defense approps, as you already know. and also a lack of budget coming from the senate. so we add that to the fact that in just a few days when we have sequestration, which is another half trillion dollar of cuts that will go to our national defense, and we think that's a bridge too far. so what have we tried to do? in addition to going across the country to try to raise this awareness, we tried to work on the house leadership and they have successfully passed two bills that would stop sequestration last summer, as many of you know. the senate has failed to put forward a single bill up to this point in time and the president has not put a single proposal forward. in addition to that, since we didn't get acceptance of either of those two bills, the senate hasn't put anything forward and
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the president hasn't put anything forward, i filed a bill this week that would say this. you remember the president, when we were talking about fax rates, he used the phrase, he said we ought to at least be able to find what we agree upon and get that off the table. it looks like to me if you polled members of senate and the house they all agree on one thing. sequestration seems to be a bad idea for national defense. if that's the case, we've written a very simple bill that says as to national defense sequestration would not apply. we filed that bill. we hope if nothing else we can get that bill passed. it wouldn't put the cuts on everyone else. it would leave it up to the appropriators but it would say we are not going to use this arbitrary situation that we have to deal with sequestration. final two points for me before i turn it over to congressman wittman is the fact as many of you know the president has traveled to virginia today to one of our ship-yards. i think it's good when the president comes to virginia to
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visit one of our shipyards. the question i leave to you to ask is if the president can fix sequestration in a ship yard in virginia. if he can i wish he would have been there a year ago so we wouldn't have this unstable situation we currently have. the likelihood, however, of fixing it there is remote. i suggest where the president would better spending his time is here in washington actually meeting with people who disagree with him so that he can try to get a resolution and hopefully some sort of compromise. last thing is that word i just used, compromise. we heard a lot of people talking about that. the president loves to use it. one of the things many of us are mature enough to know today is this, that if you take the wrong medicine to try to cure an illness it can sometimes be worse than taking no medicine. if you have the wrong compromise, it can be worse than no compromise at all. i want to point out to everybody that the sequestration, the problem we're all facing was in fact a
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compromise, a compromise that was proposed by the president. and even though i voted against it, we're looking at it and facing it today. last thing i want to look to point out to you is this -- many people ask why is it so difficult to get a compromise in washington. i want to throw three points from the president, because he is our commander in chief. the first one is simply this. it's very difficult to reach compromises when you consistently move the goal post. as you all know, with the b.c.a., that was supposed to be a compromise. i have a list of quotes and other people in the white house talking about it was a compromise. but no soon as it got passed, as you know, all of a sudden you started get -- moving the goal post. we had a big debate. crisis time coming out for whether we were going to increase tax rates. the ink didn't get dry before
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the goal post moved on that. second thing is the president has really a difficult time talking to people who don't agree with him. so if you'll see instead of the president bringing individuals in congress who might disagree with him and sit down and talk with him to see if he can resolve those differences, the president has surrounded himself with these campaign stops who puts people who already agree with him to cheer and clap everything he says. if you want to reach compromise, go into a room with people who may disagree with you and see if you can compromise. the third, the best way to get a compromise is if someone disagrees with you they are some type of villain. about 50% of the electorate across the country, just because they agree with him, he has to impugn their motives and impugn their analytical
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abilities. so i hope the president, after he has the campaign event he has today, will come back to washington, sit down with us and hopefully we can get a campaign -- some sort of compromise that will stop sequestration from taking place. so with that i'd like to turn it over now to chairman wittman who will talk to you about some of the specificities of the dangers of sequestration itself. rob. >> thanks. chairman forbes, thank you. thanks for your eloquent laying out of the issue that's before us. just as you see here, couple weeks ago we asked the chief of naval operations and the commandant of the marine corps if this was the picture of things to come. five aircraft carriers in port, four large amphibs in port, our large portion of our naval presence there, not at sea, sailors at the dock, if that was the scope of things to come and their answer to us was yes. if the sequestration went into effect that we could expect more of this in the future,
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aircraft carriers not being deployed, new aircraft carriers not being built, current ones not being refueled, that to me is significant. that cuts right to the issue of readiness. and we heard there from all the chiefs the issue of readiness and they termed it as a readiness crisis. the inability for this nation to respond to the threats that are out there around the globe in a way that assures that we can be victorious in whatever situation that we face. that to me deeply, deeply concerning. and i appreciate the president traveling today being right across the river from the norfolk naval place, being in the newport news building. the commitment that it takes from them to do that job, how important the industrial base is to this nation, how important our civilian employees are within d.o.d. and our contracting community, all of those individuals are part
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of what would be affected by this sequestration. and the president speaks about compromise, putting those ideas on the table. i couldn't agree more. let's find that common ground. let's make sure we find ways to do that. i have to agree 100% with the president's thought of a balanced approach. and the balanced approach is this -- we have had $600 billion in tax increases that just passed in january. without any reductions in spending. now is the time to have the reductions in spending. that balance needs to be there. the balance is not there at this point. that's why we urge the president to be part of the discussion about how do we come up with those reductions. we're talking about reducing our overall budget by 2.4%. certainly that is doable. we have a budget over $3.6 trillion. if we cannot achieve that, that level of reduction, which decreases the ray of increase. it doesn't even get us below where we are from years' past to today, we ought to be able to do that. i believe we can do that.
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we can do that in a way that's thoughtful and in a way that's not disruptive to the military, in a way that doesn't tie the leaders of our military's hands in the things they need to do, allows them to put forward their priorities to make sure that they are doing what's necessary for all the service branches to do the job that they are charged with doing. again, i go back to the issue of readiness. all of them have said this will severely impact readiness, their ability to meet those threats around the world. to me that's pretty indicative what we have before us and that's we make sure that the reductions are done in a mindful way. just what chairman forbes said, we talk about a balanced approach. the balance ought to be looking in other areas of the budget. in 2011, $487 billion in reductions were placed in the defense budget. now is the time to look at other areas of the budget as far as achieving those savings to reduce the budget, and then once we go through that, if we want to come back and talk about defense and where we can
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be more efficient, i'm all for that, but we have to have a balanced approach which means we ought to talk about spending and spending in the nondefense areas since we've already thread the waters of going in and reducing spending on the defense side and already thread waters on reducing or addressing the revenue side of the equation and having those increased revenues. so i really see that as the path forward for discussions and the president places out there the idea of balance. that truly is the balanced approach is to talk about those spending areas, and specifically areas where we can look at offsetting on the defense side and looking at not only where we can reduce the budget in other areas but also looking at, too, the current situation with a with spending within the pentagon and making sure, too, that our leaders have the ability to make sure they meet this nation's priorities in making those spending decisions. i appreciate the opportunity to
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come before you today. appreciate the opportunity to be here with chairman forbes. we look forward to taking your questions. >> congressman forbes, can you clarify when you talk about your ability, does it completely remove defense from all sequester requests? >> it would. here, let me give you two points on that. sequestration, as you know, has two primary compontse that we dislike. one of them is the severity of the cuts to national defense. the second one is the arbitrary way in which it does it. what we're basically saying, we ought to all agree on the national security of the country, we don't want to do anything that would jeopardize that. this bill would in a very simplistic form that everybody could understand, sequestration would not apply to national defense. the appropriators can do whatever they wanted to do in terms of their budgets and adjusting the numbers anywhere they wanted to, but it would basically say we are not going to use this kind of arbitrary approach when it comes to national defense.
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>> follow-up. so we seem to be hearing two messages from republicans. one is this dangerous. even today we had comments from mitch mcconnell saying 1% to 2% reduction in spending isn't the toughest thing. so it seems a little bit confusing over whether is it really bad. >> you know, when you look across the building we're in in the adjacent building you hear muddled messages. it's something our democratic friends want to take away huge parts of the defense budget. some of them have fought against those cuts. if you look on the republican side we'll have some people that will talk in terms of overall cuts and some of them look and narrow in on defense. if i took the two items that you just raised, one of them would be overall spending across the budget.
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you know, we're not asking the president to stop spending. we're just asking him to moderate some of his spending. as chairman wittman pointed out, we're talking about 2.4% in a budget the size of our budget. if that's going to bring the nation to its knees, that's something we ought to be very concerned about. but there is a whole different picture when we're talking about defense, because as rob pointed out, every single cut this administration has had so far has been defense. find me any other cuts that they've made anywhere else, they can make none. and so we're looking at a situation where they made -- it wasn't just $487 billion. it was the last bite they took out of the apple. they had well over half trillion dollars in defense cuts they've already taken, and then to overlay these defense cuts on top of that, i can tell you from the seapower subcommittee, and i think rob would agree from the readiness subcommittee, our national defense can't withstand that and still continue to have the kind of national defense we want to protect and defend this
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country. >> let me add one more statement to that. and randy pointed out, there's been a significant amount of reductions on the table, over half a trillion dollars. if you then look at what the sequester puts in place, it is also disproportional. now we're saying 50% of the cuts will take place in 20% of the budget. it's the dispr portionality of what we're facing -- disproportionality of what we're facing that creates that imbalance. the 2.4% is an overall reduction in the budget which i think talks specifically to the point to say if you spread those cuts out, and defense has already taken its fair share of those cuts, if you spread those out in other areas of the budget, it puts in perspective what we really need to do to get this in hand. . the defense budget has been affected in the last two years. this creates this strategic
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imbalance for our forces. >> yesterday at the white house, secretary mrs. napolitano: -- secretary napolitano suggested that the united states would be compromised to protect against terrorist attacks. you spelled out the economic concerns. but talk about military readiness from that perspective. where do you think this puts us after friday militarily in our ability in the things we need to do? >> from the military perspective, it affects our readiness, because our military chiefs don't have the ability to put those cuts the defense budget. they have to go in a way to cut right across the board. they don't get the ability to make a priority decision about where the funding needs to be placed. it ties their hands. it says regardless of the importance of what you do, you
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have to cut everything, which doesn't make sense. that is the illogical part of this. if they had the ability to say, based on my best judgment, here are places where i could reduce the budget that wouldn't have as much impact, this would make this less complicated. it exascerbates the issue because this is another cut in a series of cuts that continues to cut at the ability for our military to do the job it needs to do. >> one of the things we'll see is more people asking the question you just raised but not just foresee questions tration and i want to put this in context. we will mitigate the horror stories you are hearing out there with c.r.'s. but we are going to have huge problems with national defense in terms of readiness and in terms of where we want to be. but it's just not sequestration but the cuts that have already taken place. the administration moved our
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land-based missile defense systems from europe and put them on the back of the navy and gave the navy no additional resources. one of the cuts we are going to see is availability to do d.m.v. upgrades and we are going to have a gap. in terms of shifts in our overall shipbuilding plan, it is seven months instead of six months. that is huge and that is without sequestration. by 2020, we will be outmanned in submarines by the chinese. none of those are good pictures. what we are hoping in addition to sequestration, we will be looking in addition to the cuts that vr already been taken, what can we afford in defense, but the second question, what's the risk to the united states of america by not supplying these resources. [inaudible question] >> i haven't heard any members
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hearsay, hen sarring, toomey, they failed to reach an agreement, don't they share the blame and why aren't we hearing from them and saying look, guys, let's get back at this. >> fair question. you can put blame where you want. i could put the blame on the president for having proposed it. that doesn't do a lot of good to do that. i can put the blame on congress for not reaching an deement. i can say -- i didn't vote for it so don't blame me. and one of the things we started out with, a bad compromise will be worse than no compromise than none at all. the real difficulty we have in washington today is the inability for us to come in a room and listen to people who disagree with us.
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and the common ground we ought to be able to find today if nothing else is the national defense of this country and that's what rob and i are working on. i'm not asking anyone to compromise their principles, but can we sit in a room and talk without going out in press conferences, we aren't beating anybody up. this is something we need to do for the american people, sit in a room and seek common grouped. this bill we have put in, even though it's where we are in time, can't we all find common ground and take that off the table if nothing else. [inaudible question] >> seems as though they have long been lost in this process and their failure, and we have heard positive things even though they failed to reach an accord. >> i can't defend their failure or their success. and i don't know if you want to comment about the supercommittee. >> at this particular point, the
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path that we have been over really now is inconsequential and at the time it would have been. congressman forbes and myself were very to vocal about the supercommittee needing to get their job done. that time is expired. we are where we are and congress ought to be back in august and september back in washington working on things. that time has expired. here we are. through a series of events and folks look at us out there and say, you know, we don't care who is at fault. i think a lot of folks out there are in crisis fatigue. why do we have to go from crisis to crisis to crisis. you need to get things done. that's where we are today. we can look back and analyze how we got there, but this is where we are and we have the obligation to our nation and the men and women that serve our
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nation and d.o.d. and the great contractor work force as well as this nation's national defense needs to get this done. this is one of the things at the top of the list. when you raise your hand and square to uphold the constitution and it's one of the top things we have as our job and that is to defend this nation and provide for its armies and neafs. that's what people expect us to do and expect us to make the decisions. here at the 11th hour, we need to do that. there are opportunities for us to get that done. >> we aren't going to rely on the supercommittee and understand, this comes back to your question, even when march 1 comes and sequestration hits, we aren't going to rest. we are going to work and mitigate some of these consequences. [inaudible] >> there is a lot of talk about the house appropriation committee --
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[inaudible] >> what's the tenor of that discussion? is that being considered and if so who is kind of involved? >> congressman forbes and myself have been involved in those conversations with the leadership both at the committee level of appropriations and with the conference leadership about how would we go about doing that. there are concerns about giving transfer authority and saying we will move money wherever you want. chairman forbes and i have been part of the discussion and say, let's identify the service branches to determine where the money is needed to really address the most severe and timely need and let's put together a c.r. that allows that to be very specific so we understand how we are going to meet those needs. that part of the discussion going forward -- i know chairman forbes has been part of that. >> you remember when sequestration came up and you
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pulled out your dickaries. pull out the word anomaly, because next week that's what you will be looking at, that will help to allocate those budget items into the lines that the service chiefs needs so they won't have to do quite the horror stories we are hearing today. we will be able to mitigate an awful lot of that in that process. thank you everybody for coming. >> pentagon spokesman briefed on the defense strategy as the automatic defense budget cuts approach. >> the sequestration goes into effect for the remainder of the year and will require the department of defense to cut $46 billion from the level of funding provided on the f.y. 2013 continuing resolution in the last seven months of the fiscal year. by law, sequester would apply to
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all of the d.o.d. budget, including wartime spending. the only exception is that the president has indicated his inat the present time to exempt all military personnel funding from sequestration. while d.o.d. led leaders support this decision, it doesn't mean others will be cut to offset the exemption and these cuts will amount to 9%. in addition to requiring these large and sudden cuts, the law mandates they be applied in a rigid, across-the-board manner account by account, item by item. cuts to the operating portions of the d.o.d. budget must be equal in percentage terms at the level of appropriations account. army, active operations and maintainance, navy operations and with the investment portion of the budget, the dollars cut must be allocated at a line-item level of detail. that means more than 2,500
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projects that are identified as line items will need to be reduced by the same percentage. within these line items, managers could best allocate the deductions and the department leaders would be deprived of the flexibility of protecting high priority investment programs in favor of others. the fact that we are operating under a continuing resolution is adding to the difficulties facing this department in the current fiscal year. while the c.r. provides the overall funding for d.o.d., the dollars are in the wrong appropriation accounts. compared to our needs for the current fiscal year, the c.r. provides too much funding investment accounts and not enough in operations and maintainance accounts to sustain operations and military readiness. if this imbalance is not corrected and sequester hits the department, the result will be a huge shortfall in operations and maintainance accounts for active forces. across d.o.d., we will be short 20% for operating funds and the
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percentage will be closer to 40% for the united states army. this shortfall means that the army will have to cut training, leaving its combat brigade teams below standards and same is true for air force combat units. navy and marine corps will have to slash readiness. they reduce the numbers of carriers to the gulf and could not deploy any carriers during a future period. the prospect of these cuts led the chairman, the vice chairman and all the joint chiefs to recently sign a 28-star letter stating and i quote, the readiness of our armed forces is at a tipping point. we are on the brink of creating a hollow force, unquote. the department leaders are working every day to avoid the worst effects of this regrettable situation and we will continue to do so.
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but the solution to this self-made crisis can't be found in this building. this solution is congress passing a balanced deficit-reduction package and appropriations bill that the president can sign and detrigger sequestration. our department leaders have the responsibility to continue to make that case to congressional leadership and to the american people. >> chuck hagel has been confirmed as the next defense secretary, with the senate voting 58-41. here's how the associated press is writing about it. a deeply-divided senate voted to confirm republican chuck hagel handing president obama's pick just days before billions of dollars budget cuts hit the military. the story says, mr. hagel's only g.o.p. support came from former colleagues, cochran of mississippi and shelby of alabama as well as senator ofs
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of nebraska and kentucky. confirmed was mr. lew. president obama's former chief of staff will succeed tim geithner. the vote was 19-5. here's a look at our schedule starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, the day from the senate floor on chuck hagel's nomination. remarks from attorney general holder in reducing gun violence and gun control laws. and the senate finance committee holds a hearing on the automatic budget cuts. coming up next, a house homeland security subcommittee hearing on maritime border security. this is an hour and 45 minutes. >> good morning everyone and the committee on homeland security, our subcommittee on borders and maritime security will come to
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order. the subcommittee is meeting today to examine our nation's border security. we have an all-star panel of witnesses here this morning. michael fisher who is the chief of the united states border patrol, kevin mcaleenan, acting assist ant commissioner in the office of field operations at customs and border protection and admiral william lee, deputy for operations, policy and capabilities at the united states coast guard. rebecca gambler, director of homeland security of government accountability and marc rosenblum from the congressional research service and i will be introducing them in a moment. but first, let me recognize myself for an opening statement and i would like to congratulate the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee for her appointment as the ranking member of this subcommittee. we have had the opportunity to already work together previously and we have had some meetings
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before we started scheduling some of the hearings. we are looking forward to working together to strengthen our nation's borders. and i would also like to recognize the republican members of the committee. jeff duncan from south carolina. second term. he is a veteran of this subcommittee and second term in congress as well. we are looking forward to his service on the subcommittee and in the congress and i want to congratulate him as well as being selected as the chairman of the oversight committee chairman. steve palazzo from mississippi is with us. he is a c.p.a. united states marine. veteran of the persian gulf war and still is in the army national guard in mississippi. we appreciate his service to the country and congress and looking forward and he has interest in maritime issues. and congressman barletta who is
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here from pennsylvania. former business owner and entrepreneur. former mayor of hazelton and been an extremely strong voice on immigration issues. so we welcome him. and congressman stewart from utah as well, who is a world record setting air force pilot, "new york times" best selling author and has an impressive resume and will bring a unique perspective to the committee. appreciate your service as well to the service to our nation. securing the nation and our borders, all of our borders is one of the principal responsibilities of the united states congress and one that we have under the constitution actually and since september 11, we have spent literally billions of dollars in our nation to
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shore up the gap in the nation's border security. unfortunately, some of the spending that was done, we think may have done been in an ad hoc way. we spent an incredible resources throwing them at problems without thinking with trying to connect it with trying to achieve. no surprise that congress' solutions to border security, how many customs and border protection officers, how many border patrol agents that we have, hundreds of miles of fence that we have constructed, which is about 700 currently, the number of coast guard cutters, unmanned aerial vehicles, u.a.v.'s, other technologies we have sent to the borders in recent years, all of those are incredibly important, of course. but we need to continue our conversation about the conversation that we need to be having about border security and what does a secure border look
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like, how do we use the resources we have at our disposal to get there and what is the best way to actually measure the progress that we have had in securing our border, because it is a dynamic place, not static. once we secured one section, you know, it's not secured forever, so how we address that border should reflect that reality. today i want to pivot to a discussion away from the resources and into one that touches on outcome. instead of discussing how we have grown the border patrol, the coast guard or the different types of technologies we have put on the board, i want to examine what the american people have gotten for the investment that we have made in that and how effective are we at stopping at the flow of illegal aliens, stopping the drugs that chiefly are coming into our country through the official ports of entry and in the maritime domain, can we interdifficult the threat of semi-submers i
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believes, the tango boats that are coming up the coastline of california. using this as the metric for success as the gamplet a.o. has noted is an incomplete way to look at border security. operational control, the buzz term here on the hill, maybe that is not the best way to measure border security in isolation, but the congress and the american people have been in the dark since neck napolitano has abandoned that term. when the department of homeland security stopped using the term operational control, at that time, only 873 miles of southwest border was considered control and only a few on the northern border. they said we had about 44% of the southern border under operational control. certainly in the low single digits on the northern border. and where we are today is an open question.
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you have department of homeland security officials who have been telling us that a new measure called the border condition index is on its way. that is something that was told to our subcommittee and to the full committee about three years ago and we are waiting to understand what that term means and how it would work. so i think when we hear individuals saying that the border is more secure than ever, that is not a substitute for very hard verifiable facts which is again, why i want to examine the effectiveness and push for risk-based out come-oriented approach. g.a.o.'s report is the first time we have seen the examination couched in terms of effectiveness, which is a positive development, a good place to -- for us to be talking about today. i believe that the c.b.p. and the united states coast guard
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should have outcome-based metrics that explains security at our maritime borders and i have been advocating the need for a comprehensive strategy to secure the borders for the last several years because i'm absolutely convinced that the department of homeland security needs to just stop the ad hoc application of resources without thinking about the big picture and i know they are in many cases, but this hearing will try to get to the nuts and bolts of how we can use the metrics to measure our success. we have to be held accountable for outcomes and can't just say the border is more secure than ever. we have lots of agents, technology, infrastructure on the border without being able to verify from an accountability stand point how effective we have been, because the bottom line for the american people will be these simple questions, what does a secure border look like, how do we get there and how do we measure it.
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i look forward to hearing from the distinguished panel of witnesses today. i think this is going to be a very interesting hearing and one that can be a critical component for the entire congress as we are totally engaged as a nation in this debate now about immigration reform and again what a critical component border security is to that debate. at this time, the chair now recognizes the ranking minority member from the subcommittee, ms. jackson lee. >> i thank you, chairwoman. and i certainly adhere to the issue of outcome. i too am pleased to acknowledge new members of our committee and welcome them as well. but let me acknowledge all of
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our members of our committee. representative loretta sanchez hales from a state with border and maritime interests and served as subcommittee chairwoman. i want to welcome or rourk and knows firsthand the importance of border security and knows firsthand of the enhanced safety and security they are facing and experiencing through hard work in el paso. and i welcome you. i would like to welcome representative gab on the, who comes from a district from homeland security interests. very unique and you add a very special commitment to this committee because we need to understand both the successes and challenges of hawaii that is facing a different order of intrusion being in its location.
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i'm also delighted to welcome our ranking member, mr. thompson, who has had an ongoing commitment to securing the border and we worked over the years together and generated under his leadership a number of successes. before i go into my full remarks, welcome mr. cuellar who was the ranking member on this committee and worked on the g.a.o. request that many of us are reviewing and i have joined. i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from texas, mr. cuellar, be allowed to sit and question the witnesses at today's hearing. >> without objection. and we welcome him being back with us. >> thank you very much. i want to comment on outcomes and comment on the idea of data sharing and being more cooperative with our local officials. i think, madam chair, we can find common ground. i have understood in briefings
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and i indicated i would use this terminology that securing the border is not simplistic. i think it is a moving process. we, in fact, see dipt top oggray and one moment one area is secure and others are not as secure. we know cities such as san diego and el paso count themselves having made great improvement and one might use the term operational control, because there are border stations. we know there are 1,993 miles of border, 651 miles of fencing and one might make the argument that the unfenced area is less secure. i would argue against that. one of the things that we need to ensure that we allow the border patrol to do is to advise us of how they believe using the right resources they can effectuate a secure border. but it is always moving.
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one of the issues that should be prominent in this such as 2004 in a member of this committee, we provided the answer to the original request by the border patrol and that is equipment. that was the year we presented all the helicopters, all of the jeeps, the lap tops, the night goggles and enhanced equipment. we know that those kinds of resources are not the only answer to border security. what i would like to see is to match your outcomes with the use of new technology, but tamente as we move forward on technology and having the border patrol respond in a very short order of strategies that would give them what they feel is ongoing operational control, should be the moving forward on comprehensive immigration reform. i say that because, when you speak to professionals about border security, they speak less of the intrusion of masses of people as much as they talk
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about gun trafficking, drug trafficking. those are the criminal elements, cartels that make the border unstable. i would suggest that if you have regular order with comprehensive immigration reform you give a process of people being able to enter the country so it is more latitude for the resources that the border patrol individuals would have to be able to work on something we could rename. may not call it operational control, but enhanced border security and ongoing border security. i would also suggest as i was able to glean from some very good conversations, i would like to see enhanced intelligence. i would like to give the border patrol the resources to identify the threat and i think they would be able to come forward and provide us with the necessary strategy going
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forward. again, i would offer this morning that as we proceed with this hearing, i would like to also bring into play, the coordination between local and state authorities. my state legislature just voted yesterday, madam chairwoman, to ask the federal government for reimbursement. some of those who voted for it recognize the challenges, but they have been investing a lot in border security. my point would be as i conclude is one, i would like to see coordination between d.e.a., enhanced coordination. i thank them for a.t.f., f.b.i., border patrol, local and state and around the border patrol takes the lead on one defining what an ongoing operational control, if we don't want to use that terminology, a high level of border squret throughout our expanded area, including the
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northern border, including the southern board iran again to recognize comprehensive immigration reform and let me note the fine work of the coast guard in a very unique border effort that goes out deep beyond our borders and waterways, being the first line of defense for security. but finally, allowing the comprehensive immigration reform to parallel this effort of this committee and the reason being is that will give a metric, a marker on how you ought to be able to allow people in and to document those who are already within our borders. i look forward to the testimony of all of our witnesses. and again i thank them for their service and i thank you for your courtesy and i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the ranking member of the subcommittee, mr. thompson. >> i like my colleague, ms.
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jackson lee, look forward to this hearing. some of these witnesses, i haven't seen in quite a while. good seeing you. today's subcommittee is examining the department of homeland security efforts to achieve border security. with the support of congress, d.h.s. has made better efforts to better secure our borders in recent years as already outlined by ranking member's opening statement. reasonable people may disagree about the best way to proceed from here about what having the support -- a secure border means. some believe we need extensive technology along the borders. others including me see targeted resources accompanied by a comprehensive border security strategy that ensures we are using taxpayers' border security dollars wisely and avoiding past
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acquisition failures. some may believe we need to return to operational control as our metric for measuring border security. others, i clueding me, believe we need a workable set of metrics that offer an accurate assessment of our borders at and between the ports of entry. earlier this month, that had allen testified at the request of chairman mccaul and urged the committee to decide what is an acceptable level of risk at our borders while accepting that risk will never be zero. i agree with former commandant allen and would like to insert his statement. >> without objection. >> if i could get the audio
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back. regardless of these differences, madam chair, i would hope we can all agree that pulling the equivalent of 5,000 border patrol agents and 2,750 c.b.p. officers from our borders as called for by the sequester is no way to achieve anyone's definition of a secure border. forcing the coast guard to curtail its operations by more than 25%, reducing essential missions including migrant and port security operation is no way to achieve border security. reducing the number of alien immigration detention beds is no way to secure our borders. i hope we can have a frank discussion today about the challenges d.h.s. will face in securing our borders if and when sequestration takes effect. i'm plea pleased that we are
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joined by a witness from the government accountability office. g.a.o. has done some very important work on border security matters on behalf of this committee. this work includes the report being released today that examine crime rates on the u.s. side of the southwest border. the report shows that in general, crime rates have fallen in border communities in recent years and in fact, mostly lower than crime rates in non-border communities within the same states. this data would appear to suggest that while border-related crime is a concern, border communities are largely safe places to live, work and do business. i hope to hear from ms. gambler in more detail about the report and what g.a.o.'s report indicates about security along the boardsers.
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finally as groundwork is being done to develop comprehensive immigration reform legislation, i want to remind our members that border security is linked to immigration matters and will be an integral part of any reform proposal. as the leading committee on border security in the house, the committee on homeland security has a long and successful history of conducting oversight of the department of homeland security's efforts tom secure our nation's borders. it is imperative that this committee's expertise on border security inform any legislative proposal produced by congress to reform our immigration system. with that, madam chair, i look forward to today's hearing and i look forward to the witnesses' testimony and i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. other members of the committee are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record. again, he we are so pleased to have the distinguished panel
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that we have before us. i will read your bio and then we'll start with chief fisher. michael fisher was named chief of the border patrol in 2010. he started the duty along the southwest border in 1987 in douglas, arizona and deputy patrol eight in michigan and arizona. mr. kevin mca lean and, acting assist ant commissioner where he is responsible for the anti-terrorism, immigration, trade compliance and agricultural protection operations at the nation's 331 ports. rear admiral lee is the deputy for operations pollly and capability for the united states coast guard and in this role, he oversees integration of all policies. he spent 13 years in six different command assignments
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and specialized in boat operations and search and rescue. rebecca gambler, acting director of the u.s. government accountability office of homeland security and justice team where she leads the work on border security and immigration issues. and marc rosenblum is a specialist in immigration policy at the congressional research service and associate professor of political science at the university of new orleans sm the witnesses' full written statements will appear in the record and the chair recognizes chief fisher for his testimony. >> thank you. chairwoman miller, ranking member jackson lee, ranking member thompson and other distinguished members of the subcommittee, it is a privilege and an honor to appear before you today to discuss the work that border patrol agents do every day to secure america's borders. today, my inat the present time to is offer my thoughts regarding the question and purpose of this hearing, what does a secure border look like? in short, a secure border is
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characterized by low risk. one in which we reduce the lickly hood of attack to the nation and provides safety and security to the citizens against dangerous people seeking entry into the united states to do us harm. as we enter our first year of implementation, i would like to highlight how the implementation plan is developing. first and foremost, we have a definitive requirement for information and intelligence to provide greater situational awareness in each of our operational corridors. advanced information will provide us the ability to deploy and redeploy resources to areas of greatest threat. we have prioritized and submitted our intelligence requirements and we expect collection against these requirements soon. second, we have assessed areas of high risk in certain corridors and determined appropriate staffing levels to reduce risk. we are increasing staffing levels to ensure we are placing increased capability against the greatest threat.
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third. we continue to refine the south texas campaign, which was the first implementation of that strategy. the lessons learned from the past year confirm the importance of joint planning and execution with strategic objectives against common threats. central to this campaign is the importance of including all communities of interest in the process and the establishment of joinlt targeting teams. we have found that focused targeted enforcement, operational discipline and unified commands do have value. fourth, we have commenced our first area of reduction flights. the purpose of these flights is to identify remote areas along the border, areas where we have limited presence and technology and determine whether or not vullberblet exists. this will allow us to periodically check sections along the border using technology and providing broader situational a awareness and
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probability of entries and adjust resources in advance of increased activity. moreover, this methodology will allow us to verify the absence of threats in particular areas, in essence, shrinking the border. in the end, the metrics and performance measures will provide us and this committee the answer to the questions, are we winning and how do we know? no longer will apprehensions loon be the measures of metric and where this makes sense, 90% effectiveness is our goal. we continue to learn the value of analyzing reside vism rates and how it reduces risk. since my last testimony in front of this testimony, i have strengthened my conviction that assessing security along the border one lynnial mile at a
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time is the wrong approach. first the environment in which we operate, characterized by dynamic threats operating within a corridor, does not lend itself neatly to steady, incremental metrics. second, to ask the question, is the border secure in a vacuum presupposes a definitive end state that is static, which is not. the complexity of the border says norme single measure can assess border security. a valid determination of border security can be made by analyzing all available data and placing it in the context of current intelligence and operational assessments. accomplishing this requires a structured process and methodology to shift the discussion from the possibility of threats to one involving the probability of threats and subsequent risk mitigation strategies. although border security, staffing, detection, monitoring
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technology are critical in providing enhanced capability, measuring the amount of resources in a particular area does not provide an accurate security assessment. likewise, vulnerability does not simply exist in the absence of resources. vulnerability exists when corresponding capability are insufficient to define the existing threats. so what do i propose? i would envision a process by which we periodically brief this committee on current threats as assessed by the intelligence community and how we are responding to those threats and brief you on our progress. in the end we would be able to assess the state of the border from our perspective and work with stakeholders who have equity in those objectives and offer our professional judgment. i want to applaud your efforts
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and the members of the committee for asking the critical question, what does a secure border look like. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes mr. mcaleenan for his testimony. >> good morning, chairman miller, ranking member jackson lee and ranking member thompson. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you. i appreciate the leadership to ensure the security of the american people and having a productive discussion this morning on this important topic. the field operations carries its border security in all 50 states at 330 ports of entry and globally at 70 ports. our priority mission is preventing terrorist weapons and terrorists into the united states.
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at ports of entry, we dine a secure border not only by our ability to prevent dangerous people and goods from entering the country but in terms to prevent dangerous cargo. it is a well managed border where mission risks are identified and addressed and legitimate trade and travel are expedited. with this committee's report, the department of homeland security are more capable than ever before in our efforts to secure or borders but we remain continuous in our efforts to improve efforts. the process of measuring our progress is a constant focus and can be almost as complex as the mission itself. the field operations uses a different types of metrics to assess our performance in managing our security risk. these metrics are including
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effectiveness and set the national regional and port levels. we use these indicators to assess our trends over time. it is important to emphasize that there is no single number or target level that can kaptur the full scope of our efforts. instead, there are series of important indicators that we use to assess and refine our operations. we begin our assessment by prioritizing the risk we face across the volume of people and goods we process in analyzing our capacity. we look at measures we have in place to address specific risks whether they are comprehensive and whether they can be improved. we use random baseline examinations of people and goods to help us assess to identify and interdict threats and we use efficiency measures to determine whether our security measures are properly targeted. we use facilitation measures such as traveler and vehicle
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weight times whether we are pursuing our resources in a manner that moves legitimate cross-border traffic. while i won't be able to cover many of our results, please allow me to walk through some of the measures we are capturing. our foundational measures are the volume of people and goods we process. we welcomed 350 million travelers. and processed 25.3 million cargo containers in over 100 million cargo shipments with a value of $2.3 trillion. this is our core challenge. in our primary anti-terrorism mission, we measure our success as we identify potential risks and how early we can take action. in the last fiscal year to through our overseas programs and coordination with interagencies, we prevented some
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high hisk travelers from boarding flights to the u.s. a 10-fold increase. identified and mitigated risks in over 100,000 cargo containers and air cargo shipments before they were loaded on a vessel or airplane. our ability to identify and deny people seeking admission to the united states has seen marked improvement. these technologies serve as a significant deterrent at attempt to illegal entries and use of fraudulent documents and our ports of entries have increased. we have enhanced our efforts in agriculture and trade protection to focus on those threats that present the highest risk. we are using three types of metrics. total examination and our
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effectiveness rate in undertaking the exams. they show positive trends. these are a few examples and i look forward to discussing these areas. as you are well aware, we are living in a world of threats and must continue to adapt to identify and address them and increase our facilitation. chairman miller, ranking member jackson lee and members of the subcommittee thank you for this opportunity to testify. i look forward to taking your questions. >> the chair now recognizes admiral lee for five minutes of testimony. >> good morning, adam chair, ranking member jackson lee. i'm honored to be here to be here to discuss the coast guard's role as lead agency in combating our border security threats within our country's maritime domain. the coast guard uses a layered strategy to counter the threats.
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this strategy starts overseas with our partner nations, our international part security program and continues into our own ports where along with our intergovernmental industry partners we escort vessels and monitor critical infrastructure and inspect facilities. offshore, our major cutter fleet along with law enforcement detachments on the united states navy and allied war ships are on patrol ready to respond to threats. coast guard aviation support the fleet providing response which optimize our overall effectiveness. last year we removed over 163 metric tons of illegal drugs before they reached our streets. last summer i testified before you on the role that the role our partners play in protecting our maritime borders closer to home. these partnerships enhance our
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effectiveness along our coast and waterways and outstanding example of these partnerships is the regional coordinating members of the committee im. in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, san diego and loss-long beach in er difficulted 164,000 pounds of illegal drugs along the southern california coastline. we enjoy very strong partnerships with canada and mexico. through integrated border enforcement, coast guard royal mounted police officers enjoyed success. ship rider allows the u.s. and canadian officers to conduct integrated maritime law enforcement activities. we trained and exercise together
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and ready to begin joint operations this spring. through our north american initiative partnerships which coordinate training with canada and mexico we have conducted 27 joint cases and removed 85,000 pounds of illegal far cannotics. airborne use of force helicopter found a helicopter south of mexico and seized 1,800 pounds of marijuana. using standard operational procedures developed through the north american security initiatives we quickly coordinated jurisdiction with the mexican navy allowing for prosecution in the united states. these operations are not without risk however. our operating environment is challenging and traffickers can and do pose a serious threat of violence. as you may know, we recently lost a coast guardsman.
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we are making every effort to prevent another tragic event such as this happening. we are a member of the national intelligence community. we screen ships, crews and passengers bound for the united states by requiring them to file an advanced arrival. using our two maritime two intelligence fusion centers, we work with c.b.p.'s national targeting center to ascertain potential risk. last year we screened more than 118,000 vessels and 29 million people. our goal is to detect, deter and interdict threats well before they pose a threat to our nation. i thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, admiral. the chair recognizes ms. gambler.
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>> good morning. i appreciate the opportunity to testify at today's hearing to discuss g.a.o.'s work on border security efforts and performance measurability issues. in fiscal year 2011, customs and border protection spent over $4 million to secure the u.s. southwest border. border patrol reported apprehending 327,000 illegal entrants and making over 17,000 seizures of drugs. in may 2012, the border patrol issued a new plan focused omit debating risk rather than increasing risk and the border patrol is in the process of implementing that plan. i would like to focus my remarks in two key areas. i will highlight and review what data show about border patrol show and deployment resources.
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second, i will highlight g.a.o.'s work at indicators for border security. with regard to my first point, border patrol data show from fiscal year from 2006 to 2011, apprehensions declined. over that same time period, statemented known illegal entries declined. to provide an example of this, our analysis of border patrol data for the tucson sector in arizona showed from fiscal year 2006 to 2011, apprehensions declined by 68% and estimated known illegal entries declined by 69%. border patrol attributed this to changes in the u.s. economy and increases in resources. fiscal year 2012 data reported by the border patrol indicated that apprehensions have increased from 2011 but too early to assess whether this indicates a change in trend.
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in addition to data on apprehension, other data collected are used to the effort. these data includersage of estimated known of illegal entrants who are apprehended more than once and seizures of drugs and other contraband. with regard to the recidivism rate, our analysis of the data showed that the rate decreased across southwest border sectors from 2008 to 2011. with regards to drug and other contraband seizures, our analysis of border patrol data showed that they increased by 83% from fiscal year 2006 to 2011. in addition to these data, border patrol sectors tracked changes in their effectiveness as a tool to determine if the appropriate mix and placement of
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personnel and assets are being used effectively. border patrol data showed the effectiveness rate increased from fiscal years 2006 to 2011. now turning to the issue of performance merements. they have issued a new strategic plan to guide the effort, the agency has not developed measures for assessing the progress of its efforts and informing the identification and allocation of resources needed to secure the border. since 2011. d.h.s. has used the number of apprehensions as an interim performance goal and measure for border security. this provides useful information but does not position the department to be able to report on how effective its efforts are at securing the border. the border patrol is developing measures although it has not yet
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target time frames and measures. we recommended that the border patrol establish such time frames and milestones to ensure that the development of goals and measures are completed in a timely manner. the department agreed with our recommendations and submitted its plans to develop such time frame and milestones by november of this year. in closing, d.h.s.'s indicate progress made to secure the border between points of entry with decrease in apprehensions. as an interim goal and measure, the number of apprehensions does not inform program results and therefore limits d.h.s. and congressional oversight and accountability. going forward, it will be important for the border patrol and the department to continue development of goals and measures that are linked to missions and goals and produce reliable results. this concludes my oral statement. i will be pleased to answer any questions members may have.
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>> the chair now recognizes mr. rosenblum for his testimony. >> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. on behalf of the congressional research service. chairman miller's opening statement and several of the witnesses have talked about the diversity of threats and how we assess those risks. my testimony focuses on illegal migration and c.r.s. released a report last week that is about understanding the diversity of risk assessment and i have that report with me as well. focusing on illegal migration. there is broad consensus that we should secure if the southwest border but no consensus of how that means. the challenges that we know a lot about the resources we devote to border security and c.b.p. and the rest of the d.h.s. know about the outcomes,
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things like apprehensions, but these data don't measure the questions we are interested in is how many enter the united states and those attempting entry, how do they apprehend. these questions sound simple, but difficult to answer for the obvious answer. the illicit nature of unauthorized migration along with the complexity of the mission and size and diversity of u.s. borders means no single indicator provide the metric or score on border enforcement. instead, we assess border security by estimating unauthorized flows and apprehension rates. so there will be some disagreement about these estimates. many people expect d.h.s. to come up with a number, but they are primarily interested in law enforcement. for that reason, most of the data that they collect ap the date ave bases they use are designed for law enforcement
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purposes and not for the kind of analysis we need to assess illegal flows. my written testimony describes the different types of data that goes into estimating illegal flows and the tools we can use to assess border security. the best rely on multiple data resources. and identifies steps to develop better border metrics. d.h.s. could include a framework like the system that o.f.o. uses within other enforcement programs. that would allow the agency to that would allow them to draw better con cluges about the flows. second, they could structure their databases to allow analysis. they appear to have taken steps in this direction. third, deform h.s. could share certain administrative enforcement data with outside researchers, a move that would increase the number of people
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working on and evaluating border security metrics. my testimony also reviews border security enforcement. i analyzed a numb of sources, including surveillance secnology, detention facilities and enforcement programs at the border and within the united states. across all these areas, a consistent story emerges that we have a substantial investment in immigration enforcement over the last couple of decades, particularly in the last five to 10 years. placed in historical perspective, c.b.t. shifts from low to high consequence enforcement practices at the border and the development of the secure communities program for persons arrested throughout the united states seem like particularly significant developments. i also identify areas where they have been less robust, including development at ports of entry,
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the development of biographic or buy y metric entry system, increased systems to deter employers from hiring unauthorized workers and the development of a system to determine workers' eligibility. to return to the big picture, how has this affected unauthorized my grace? there's little doubt inthat the unauthorized population in the united states has diminished. explaining what caused this dropoff is difficult because enforcement measures have coincided with economic problems in the united states and improvements in mexico and some changes may not have registered yet in our data. nevertheless, research that disentangles these factors show that they likely help explain
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reduced info. more effective border security metrics could contribute to the immigration debate by offering clearer insight into the state of border security and the effectiveness of different enforcement strategies. these are critical issues to given tradeoffs congress and dmplet h.s. face between enforcement at the border and within the united states and at poferts of entry or between the ports, among other choices. it may offer insight onto returns for future enforcement investments and what level of border security can be obtained in the absence of additional reforms. thank you for the opportunity and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. i thank all of you, all the witnesses for your testimony and i'm sort of struck as i was listening to you all that on this side of the table we have frontliners out there each and every day, doing everything you possibly can with the resources
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we give you to accomplish your mission and the task that you have been given and how professionally and extraordinarily well you all do that. sort of here, on this side, including all of us, i guess is, i must say we're -- i won't say we're all bureaucrat bus we're looking for measurement systems and statistics and various kinds of things and we're not on the front line every day. we don't see everything that you see. and sometimes we forget about -- the admiral was mentioning the loss of life with the boat situation, etc., i shouldn't way we -- say we forget, we don't think about it all the time as we're trying to measure border security or vears other things. but suffice it to say we are all on the same team, of course, and i look at a hearing like this and -- personally as a member of congress, trying to understand how we can do what the american people want us to do, what our constitutional obligations are to secure our border and part of
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thats a member of congress is making sure we resource you to the capabilities we have understanding the terrible fiscal con stravents we have but what we can -- we ka -- what we can do better. with that, i guess i'll start with a question to ms. gambler. i was listening to your testimony about the apprehension rate as a component of measurement and statistibblings, etc., you mentioned that the -- you were talking about all the various numbers which indicated that the flow had significantly declined yet your other report, i was trying to look at last night said that the apprehension rate was basically static, it had gone from 62% to 64%. keeping in mind the incredible amount of resources that we have put down there, and again i understand that the apprehension rate just one part of it, just
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one part of how you measure what a secure border is, what it looks like, etc., i think we had 367,000 apprehensions last year, we thought about 100,000 got through, if those are the correct numbers, something like that, so i would just ask, how to you explain, even though we put all these resources, as you look at it from a percentage of how we're doing, only having 2% differential, could you help me with that? >> sure. the data that you're mentioning, chairwoman miller, are for the tucson sector in particular. in looking at fiscal year 2006 to 2011, the apprehension rate for that sector remained relatively the same, 62% to 64%. the apprehension rate in the other southwest border sectors varied over time. we provided the tucson sector rate as an example in the report because it's a high traffic
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sector. in terms of what that means, the apprehension rate is looking at the percentage of known illegal entries, entrants who are ap he re-hended who are arrested by the border patrol and their ability to make those arrests can be impacted by various factors, including where the agents are deployed, what the terrain is leek in the varying sector, so some of the factors sort of explain what the rates are and explain differences in the rates across the sectors. >> ok, i appreciate that. chief, talking about the apprehension rate, i guess i'll pick up on that you mentioned maybe it's not the best way but it's certainly one way we measure border security, perhaps we should use something other than apprehension as a better way to measure border security. i'd like you to expand on your goal, i have some notes here, you talked about 90%, what does a secure border look like, you mentioned a 90% effectiveness rate would be optimal for us
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which i think is a very admirable goal. hardly anyone gets to 100% of anything. if we could get to 90%, we would fell pretty darn good, i think, here. but you mentioned, for instance, some of the various significant areas of illegal activity to try to get to 90%. would you look at 90% goal across all our borders? or are you thinking about particular sector, tucson or the rio grande? maybe you could flesh that out for me a little bit, chief. >> i'd be happy to. 90% wouldn't make sense everywhere. let me give you a particular area of the border, and you can pick a particular spot, where let's say, for instance, we know, because we have technology that's out there and we can see it, on average, every day, for instance, there would only be four people coming across. if over a period of time, we were catching three out of four, if we just said, well 90% is the standard, it wouldn't
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necessarily make sense to start putting more and more resources over there just arbitraryly get to a 90%. the reason why i qualified it into areas of significant illegal activity as a goal is because when we start differentiating sections of a border and areas where we have less activity versus more activity, we want to be sure we're applying those into areas of high activity which gives us a higher risk area. so theoretically what we want to do is move those resources over there, optimize the capability people, the border patrol agents that are out there to close though last 50 feet, make sure the detection capability is out there in the right locations and be able as a goal to achieve 90%. you're absolutely right, madam chair. when you look at the smuggling organizations as a business, when they're in the smuggling business to make money. when we start applying our resources and we're starting to impact their ability to do that, their profit margin, and we may
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start off by apprehending 4% of their commodity, whether it's people or narcotics, as we start apply regular sources over time, we start incrementally increase the effectiveness. in other words, we are apprehending a higher proportion of those things they are smuggling. as we move to 50%, 60%, 70 pk, there's a business generally made at that point, the smuggling organization is no longer able to make money and they will displace other areas along the border or change their tactics, techniques, or procedures. we put 90% as the goal because there are places where we've not only achieve bud maintained 90% effectiveness. it's an achieveable goal, but there are other locations where there is a lot less activity and there won't be a lot of activity because of terrain features, for instance. where it makes sense, we want to go ahead and start parting that out within those corridors and specific sectors. >> thanks very much, chief.
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i'm going to recognize my ranking member, since we want to all try to keep to our five minutes here, because we have a pretty hard stop time at noon this afternoon. with that, i recognize our ranking member. >> i would also like to ask unanimous consent that my entire opening statement be put in the record. >> without objection. >> i would like to ask unanimous consent that the document that i have here, statement written by the aclu on what does a secure border look like be submitted into the record. >> without objection. >> and a statement of the immigration lawyers association border security moving beyond the bertsch mark bus put into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. ms. gambler, the g.a.o. was given a very important assignment by members of this panel. and if you had to grade the
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level of security that we have right now based upon the review that g.a.: made, what grade would you give it? >> ranking member jackson lee, i think it's very difficult to assign a grade because d.h.s. and the border patrol in particular have not established goals and measures for defining border security between ports of entry and how they would assess progress made toward that goal. >> what grade would you give them? >> again, i think it's important for the department to set a goal for how secure the -- >> i'd rather hear what grade you'd give them? >> if i had -- i think, again it's contingent on the department to set their goal and measure for how secure the border is and how they would measure that. >> in a review of g.a.o. would grade would you give them? >> i think it's hard to sort of quantify a specific grade but i
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think it's important for them to look at what -- >> would you give them an a, a b, a c? >> i think -- >> i'm going to keep asking the same question physical you give a grade. >> i think they're making progress toward -- >> so is that a b? >> i think their effectiveness rate has as they look at it on a sector by sector basis, improved . so they are making progress. >> will that be a b? b plus? >> again, i think it's hard -- it would be sort of how would think about grading them. they have made progress. >> i think g.a.o. can do a better job with providing a more certain answer. i appreciate that you're not giving me an answer. i'll come back to you and give you enough time to think an see what kind of grade you'll give to them. chief fisher, you mentioned a, i
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think very important point about intelligence gathering because that helps with the threats in determining the threats. can you expand on that a little bit in terms of the focus on intelligence gathering and do you need more resources for that? more collaboration? or more tools? >> thank you. absolutely. both in terms of intelligence and just broadly information, which is the reason why it's the first pillar in our strategy. unlike the ports of entry, for instance, when workers are out working in the canyon well, don't have a lot of advanced information on how many people are coming and what type of individuals they are, if they're carrying narcs or have weapons or not. our ability to understand the environment in which we operate, intelligence provides that, information from the community provides us that as well. the more information we know about the environment in which we operate, the more information
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we know about the intent and capability of those organizations, who are they, what do they intend to do, gives us a better tactical advantage to be able to ensure that we are protecting this country against a future attack and certainly to provide the level of safety and security that the citizens within those communchts deserve. >> i'm going to ask both you and admiral, we're looking down the road to the possible sequester on this coming friday. and wondering what would be the impact if this occurred this coming friday with respect to services from the border patrol, in terms of numbers, an services by the customs and border protection that mr. allen and then chief, would you care to denote what might happen? >> if in fact on march 1, sequestration does happen, the
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border patrol will have reduced capability. we will prioritize and accomplish the mission as we normally would do. there are prioritizations we would take a look at in materials of deployments of resources to include border patrol agents but it will have an impact in terms of reduced capability. >> admiral? >> as the secretary testified, it would be about a 2,750 officer cut, about 12.5% of our staff. we would take mitigation action as chief fisher alluded to as well. it would have a sig -- it would add to the wait time to move goods. >> we are going to -- it will affect our search and rescue. >> we may have an opportunity
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for a second round of questions, we'll see how we do with time. at this time i recognize the ranking member of the full committee. >> thank you very much, madam chair. a number of us for quite a while have been trying to get a comprehensive border strategy and we've tried to encourage the department to come up with it. chief, can you tell us where we are along this development of a strategy for the border, to secure it. >> first and foremost, when a couple of years ago we started looking at our strategy, we started first and foremost with the departments quadrenall homeland security review that set the template. last year, department of homeland security sub mied their strategy for 2012 and 2016. and we did ours in conjunction with that as well. so if you look at the chain if
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you will from the department down through at least from c.d.p.'s standpoint, a lot of our objectives, the things we are attempting to do within our strategy is in line with the secretary's priorities and mission sets as identified in the qhsr. >> so very succinctly, have we put that strategy in writing so that members of congress and others might know what it is? >> yes. our strategy was pub learned last spring and it is in writing and certainly available for your review, sir. >> all right. tied to the strategy, the border patrol index, where is that? >> it's my understanding that that's still under development. it's been getting peer review and it is not ready for full deployment at this time. >> is it your opinion that
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border patrol index would be something positive for the security of the border? >> i think any additional layer when we look at answering this question, the extent to which this border was secure, additional layer, different analytic the way we pull information together, acts as a check and balance system. anything the department would put forward would be another layer to check some of the things that at least from border patrol's perspective we think are important to evaluate. >> ms. gamble, did you all look at any of this in your review? >> during the course of our review, we did not specifically look at the border condition index. we do understand that's under development within the department. we did look at some of the other metrics that chief fisher mentioned in his opening statement and has been discussing in terms of the effectiveness rate and the recidivism rate as well which he mentioned looking at the percentage of estimated known
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illegal entrants apprehended more than once. we have looked at some of the data that's been mentioned but not specifically the border condition index. >> again, let me thank all of you who are on the law enforcement front line you do a wonderful job. the statistics bear out the fact that if you have the resources, you can do a better job. no question about that. one of the things which i think you all are faced with now is what's the expectation of a reduction. that puts each one of you in a position of having to prioritize where you're going to attack. admiral you talked a little bit about search and recuse as being a priority versus some of the other things. but if you are trying to define this secure border, if you are having to prioritize in the
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light of budget cuts, some things will not get the attention that it would get if you had the resources, am i correct? >> yes, sir, if you're addressing that to the coast guard, bottom line is, when we have to take a corresponding cut in operations, we're taking people and assets offline. so it gives you gaps in that line of defense. >> and i'd like to also be on the record to say that a lot of what we do focuses on the southwest border. but we do have maritime borders, we have a northern border, and in -- and so all of this is the framework of border security and i would hope that as we continue to review this policy, that we
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make sure it's inclusive of all the borders that we operate to try to secure, not just focus on the southwest border. i yield back, madam chair. >> i thank the gentleman and i appreciate his comment about all the members -- all the borders as a member from the northern state, admiral talks about ship rider and other things that have been a success between us and the canadians. at this time, the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. duncan. >> thank you, madam chairman. let me just start off by saying i think americans are receiving mixed signals when it comes to border security and immigration. i just point to an a.p. story on february 4 that reports secretary napolitano saying, quote, i believe the border is secure. i believe the border is a safe border. that's not to say everything is 100%. then i go back to the whole idea that in 2010, secretary napolitano stopped reporting the
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number of piles the border was under operational control. in fact, not even using that term anymore, calling the term archaic and not representative of security progress along the border. d.h.s. is developing a new measure called border condition index, which i'd like to hear a little bit more about but this has not been released and as a result, i think congress and the public are sort of in the dark when it comes to the true numbers and true effectiveness and that necessitates the hearing that we've got today. i appreciate that. i went down to the border back in the fall and i had a conversation with congressman barbour from arizona earlier this month and we were talking about border security. he said that until ranchers in arizona who live along the border, their ranches straddling the border, until they feel the border is safe enough for them to lee their home and leave their children at whatever ages there at the ranch to go into town to buy a gallon of milk or
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whatever they need and come bag, the border isn't secure. i though that was an interesting analogy he made, that ranchers don't feel safe enough to run to 7-eleven and grab a gallon of milk for their kids without gathering everything up and taking them with them because their home and their farm and their property is not secure from illegals coming across for whatever reason. and so i think that's just an interesting thing to talk about. chief fisher, just real quickly, i was in texas recrenly and the gentleman i was talking with was telling me that he helped c.b.p. he was talking about other than mexicans that they catch in groups coming across. do we have any sort of percentages of what other groups such as he was saying chinese and even south americans and south africans, rather, even middle eastern folks, coming across in groups. do you have any percentage of other than mexicans that come across? >> i do.
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so in 2012, for instance, you mentioned a little over 350,000 apprehensions along the southern border. that represented individuals that were arrested from 142 different countries. we do know in terms of the southwest border, in terms of other than mexico, the three sending countries in this order, guatemala, honduras, el salvador are the top three percent alings. in terms of those from guatemala, about three years ago, one of every three individuals apprehended in south texas was from guatemala, now it's 60%. we are seing a shift in terms of those individuals seeking entry into the united states between ports of entry in places like south texas where the majority of those individuals now are not from mexico but from country others than mexico. >> so, guatemala shares a board we are mexico, so i can understand the ease of the guatemala -- gaut ma lans coming. i'm going to shift gears because
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there's concern about drone use an the c.d.p. and coast guard are both using drone. chief fisher, and then the admiral, how effective has drone use been surveying the board her >> unmanned aerial system for the border patrol in particular has been invaluable for providing that level of information along the boarder to provide a longer and steady persistent surveillance to cue border agents on people seeking entry into the united states. it's vn very valuable as an enforcement trool tool. >> admiral, how do you see the drone tools helping you in your job? >> i echo chief fisher's comments it's an invaluable and indispensable tool so we know where to put our resources and target them for the end game interdiction. >> you got a lot of square miles to cover, i would assume. >> millions. >> yeah. chief fisher, as far as the responsiveness, let's say you need to retask that drone and
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focus on a certain sector where you see increased activity during the night, how easy, because i know those drones aren't necessarily flown locally, how easy is it to coordinate that movement? >> c.d.p. is getting bet we are that coordination. we have the authorization now to be table to -- to be able to get that air space to move those from one area to the other. c.d.p. is getting better and better at the federated flights, doing a launch and recovery from one location and a handoff to the flights to sortie to another location and we're improving each and every week. >> thank you, gentlemen, and everyone, for your service to our country. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. o'rourke from texas. >> madam chair, i ask for unanimous consent to submit the statement from the national treasury me -- employees union and a statement by the border
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trade alliance into the record. >> without objection. >> i'd also like to thank you, madam chair, and ranking member jackson lee, for assembling this panel and holding this hearing on what a secure border looks like. and it's perhaps one of the most important questions for us to in congress fnd for our country to answer. the fate of 2 million people in the united states right now and the future of comprehensive immigration reform depend on the answer to this question. the fate of the community that i represent, el paso, texas, the safest city in the united states, but one which is heavily dependent on cross border trade and the legitimate, secure flow of people and goods across our ports of entry. my city, the people who work in it, the people i represent, depends on our answer to this question. and i would argue the fit of our country. we have six million people whose
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jobs are directly dependent on the secure trade across the ports of spri. -- of entry. if we want to see economic growth in this country the fate of our country depends on how we answer this question. not to mention the billions of dollars that we spend right now to secure the border as our chairwoman has pointed out with not a lot of measurements attached to it to define whether or not we're doing a good job. so since we're unable to succinctly define what a secure border looks like today, although we're looking on it -- working on it and i hope we have additional hearings, i was hoping chief fisher and commissioner maclenan could answer this question, considering el paso is the safest city in the united states, san diego also on the u.s.-mexico border, is the second safest. if you look at the border on whole from brownsville to laredo to san diego and compare it to the rest of the u.s., we're safer than the country on whole.
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i would argue that the rancher going to get his milk in arizona is far safer than the single mom leaving her apartment in washington, d.c. or detroit or new orleans or many of the cities in the country's interior today. so with that, the record deportation the record low apprehension the doubling of the border patrol force, are we as safe and secure as we've ever been? >> i believe in many sections along the border i can compare to when i came into the border patrol in 1987, certainly because of this committee's support and others we have received unprecedented resources both in terms of border patrol agents and technology. and there are more sections along this border that are secured buzz of that. -- because of that. >> i would agree with our technology deployment, our operational improvements, how we're using our targeting system, the ability the western hemisphere travel initiative to query almost every person crossing the land border, we're
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significantly more secure with inadmissibles, our counternarcotics mission, and our efforts against terrorism. >> commissioner, could i ask you to reach the conclusion that i think you started with, which is we are more secure in all those areas than we've ever been? >> that's correct. >> ok, i think that's important for us to know because i share this committee's frustration with the fact that we don't have a defined goal and measurements on which to chart our progress against that goal. we're no longer using operational control. we haven't released the new comprehensive index from d.h.s. so in the absence of that, with so much riding on our ability to speak intelligently about border security, i think it's really important for this panel and the crunt i to know the border is as secure as it's ever been. commissioner, an additional question for you. while el paso is the safest city in the country, i would argue if you want to know what a secure border looks like, look at el paso, texas, the world's largest
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binational community, safest city in the united states next to what was until recently the deadliest city in the world, ciudad juarez, with 10,000 murders over the past six years. one threat our economy and the national economy is the slow pace of cross border traffic. we hear of shippers and i'm sure congressman quera can attest to this, who wait nine hours to cross north into the united states. we hear from constituents who wait three, four, five hours in pedestrian or auto lines to cross the bridges. there are just some basic issues of being humane to the people who are crossing and we also are depending on them for our economy. when i crossed this week when i was back in el paso, c.b.p. agents knew i was coming over, there was no wait time. when i talked to other members of my staff who regularly cross, they wait three, four, five hours.
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if we can get me across in 10 minutes, why can't we get everyone across in 10 minutes? >> as i mentioned in my oral statement, our wait times and our service log to the traveling public and commercial trade are a huge focus for us. we made significant efforts in el paso over the last year, increasing our boot time by 14%, that's resulted in reduced wait times in fiscal year 2012 over 2011. the traffic is up in every category, pedestrian, personal vehicles, commercial vehicles, 12% over the last three years. we're using our new technology, active procedures to try to get through the lanes, to the rfid enabled lanes. you've seen the technology in the pedestrian area, that's increased our capacity 25%. the wait times are down significantly. we're staffing the booths at peak times more fimbtly. that's making a difference but it's a continued -- continued focus for us. we need to move that continued trade and travel more
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efficiently this year. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta. >> thank you. i'd like to thank the chairman for this very, very important hearing today. i come from a much different perspective, being a mayor, former mayor of a city that has 2,000 miles away from the nearest southern border. we have an illegal immigration problem, some of you may have known i was the first mayor in the country to pass a law dealing with illegal immigration over 10%, it was estimated at the time, in my city. was in the country illegally. and they didn't cross the majority -- the majority did not cross a southern border. our population grew by 50%, but our tax revenues stayed the same. i see this from a different police. , as many others, there's an economic side to this problem of illegal immigration as well as a national security side. i disagree, i'm listening here
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today, i guess my first disagreement is, how we even define our borders? i believe there's an important piece to this issue that's missing here. any state that has an international airport is a border state. any state with an international airport is a border state. 40% of the people that are in the country illegally didn't cross a border. they came here on a visa, the visa expired and they disappeared into the system and we can't find them. we have immigration laws for two reasons, one to protect american jobs, and two, to protect the american people. my question, mr. fisher, do you think adding more people on the border would have stopped the attack on 9/11? >> no, sir. >> mr. macleenan.
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if i were a would-be terrorist and flew into harrisburg international airport or des moines, iowa, airport, and didn't leave after my visa expired, how would you find me? >> we're assuming this individual is not known to the intelligence community or law enforcement as a potential terrorist? >> that's correct. >> that's a multiagency effort. we would use the biographic information transmitted to cdp which would tell us who they are, when they've arrived a record of their crossing date. we would work with u.s. visa and immigrations and customs enforcement to determine if they left on time. that's the biographic effort. >> how would we have 40% of the people in the country illegally who have -- whose visas have expired? why haven't we been eable to do that? >> i think this is an acknowledged area where we need to improve and we have been improving over the last several
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years. >> and that's exactly my point. some of the -- and you know this. some of the 9/11 terrorists overstaid their visas. in fact, one of the 9/11 terrorists was granted amnesty in 1986. we said he was an agricultural worker and was granted amnesty and later was one of the master minds to that. now there's a new proposal to grant a pathway to citizenship to millions who have crossed the border illegally or who have overstayed a visa. i believe that this will only encourage millions more now to come here through our open borders. basically, what this proposal is telling anyone who is here on a video is a right now, you can throw your visa away because this proposal will allow you to stay. we need to make sure that we're doing first things first. that we're securing our borders. that's not only airports, sea ports, northern borders, southern border, east coast, west coast, we can't exclude
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those that come here through a legal pathway and then stay here and become here illegally. and that's what's missing here today. we certainly should use our immigration laws to make new friends or to use it to battle for new voters, you know, today is an important day. today is the 20th anniversary of the 1993 attack on the world trade center where six people died and over 1,000 people were injured. our immigration laws are here to protect american jobs and protect the american people. we are a long way from secure borders and it should be a reminder to everyone here in congress that we don't replace the carpet in our homes while we still have a hole in our roof. thank you. >> the chair recognizes the
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gentlelady from hawaii, ms. gabbered. disease ms. gabard. -- ms. gabbard. >> as all of you know, we fay unique challenges in hawaii than many -- that are very different than the channels brought inhere this morning. but they're not issues that only affect hawaii. with what's happening in asia and across the pacific, hawaii's strategic location there really is a gateway to what is happening in our country. my first question is for admiral lee. you talked in your testimony about the domestic partnerships that the coast guard has formed and that you share in areas of the u.s. waters but don't really get into much of the details about what's happening in the pacific and the kinds of partnerships that you have there, especially considering within the 14th district folks who i visited with, admiral ray and his teams on the ground really do cover not only the
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islands of hawaii but guam, american samoa, saipan, even singapore and japan. i would like you to talk more about the partnerships you have there especially as we're looking at the cuts that the department has spoken about affecting nearly 25% of air and surface operations and how we can make sure we're maintaining coverage in that vast region. >> yes, ma'am. thank you for the question. we have an outstanding working relationship with our partners at pacific command. we have cross talks at the admiral ray level routinely, we are watching as is the nation with what's developing and understood folding in the pacific aradio in a. we're watching what's going on between the japanese and the chinese off the coast, we're watching what's going on with fisheries. frankly, our course is standing ready to respond as the nation
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needs it to, that is a large body of water that, as you are well aware, requires resources to patrol and maintain. we have a -- an aging and decrepit fleet being reduced in size and therefore our capacity to control those areas is being demin herbed. -- diminished. >> can you talk more about what kinds of impacts you foresee should the sequester occur on march 1 within the pacific region? >> we haven't singled out the pacific for any more or any less cuts than anywhere else. the proachings operational commanders have been given guidance, whereby the guiding principle was preserve our capability to respond to search and rescue and preservation of life an property and to meet security demands. and there was no more specificity than that.
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secretary napolitano stated the other day that she would anticipate that the operational would be curtailed at much as 25%. we're leaving it to operational commanders to decide where the 25% will occur, again, preserving our ability to respond and to surge if the situation dictates. >> thank you very much. it's obviously an issue of concern for us as we look forward to kind of keeping a close eye on this as it develops and also just want to commend your folks on the ground who as i've seen within the communities and at all different levels, county, state, as well as the federal partners are creating these great partnerships that allow for sharing of resources in ways that may not normally occur. so great job with the -- to the folks on the ground. for mr. mcleenan, again, as hawaii is a through point for so much traffic, especially from
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asia, and with your office being responsible for customs and agricultural inspections, specifically, i've met with some of the folks on the ground there who as all of us are concerned about continued shortages in manpower and labor and what that does to affect us as an island state and our economy in particular with the agricultural and other pests that we are often threatened by. invasive species have and could continue to destroy not just our environment but really from a basic economic level we have the -- we had a boar destroy crops costing millions to our farmers an caused issues for our economy. i'm wondering how you foresee as your prioritize -- as you're prioritizing your risks, big
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picture, affecting economies like hawaii that are major through points with the agricultural inspections? >> thank you, and yes, being originally from hawaii, i'm keenly aware of the importance of the fragile ecosystem on the islands. with the sequestration cuts, we'll still be doing mandatory agriculture exams. these are required under law and are the highest priority on the agriculture side obviously the tourism side, we'll have fewer people to staff the primary booths, we'll see increased wait time theats airport that could be up to 50%. with peak times increasing significantly. so that is a concern. a lot of people want to stay in hawaii when they get there, so it has some of the fewer challenges with missed connections than other airport bus it's an issue we'll be facing if we do go into sequester.
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>> thank you. i didn't know you were a local boy. what kinds of technology are you or your team looking at, this will be the last question -- i'm sorry -- >> this will be the last yeah for the gentlelady, your time is up. >> i'm sorry, i'll stop there. >> the chair recognizes mr. cuellar. >> thank you for allowing me to be here and to you, madam chair and ranking member thompson, thank you very much. we as a country, one of the most important things we need to do is secure the border. and for us here in texas, the ones that don't just come visit and get an impression but the ones who live in texas, we understand in areas like texas, securing the border has always been challenging, it's been a concern. i have a letter here from somebody charged with border sent this letter to the highest ranking official in texas. he's talking about nine
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families, nine individuals who came in with families, came in, disregarded the law, they stayed in the -- in texas in disregard of what the was. most people would agree that that's an issue. the only question -- the only thing is that this was written under god and liberty, to stephen f. austin, on nevada 12, 1830678 he was talking about americans coming into texas, that was part of mexico at that time an of course you know, a little bit after that, they declared independence and the united states got into the real estate business and took over 55% of the mexican territory, texas, california, utah, parts of utah and a bunch of other states. the border has been a concern for us in texas for many years. the issue is how do ewe secure the border? i think the gentleman was right, for anybody who comes in with a simplistic view that if you put
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a fence up it will secure the border, we have to look beyond that. we're just talking about the fence we built that we spent millions -- billions of dollars on the fence two young ladies climbed the fence in 18 seconds. this was the fence that we spent billionings of dollars on. we've got to be smart on how we secure the border. one mile of fence will cost at least the numbers we were given in the committee years ago, $7.5 billion per mile. one mile of technology will cost about $1 billion per mile. is we have to be smart about huh how we secure the border. but you're right, 40% of the individual didn't cross the river but came in through -- on visas. so you can put the biggest fence and still not control the issue. when we spend millions of -- billions of dollars we have to understand, are we getting the best bang for the dollars? for years we have been struggling on how we measure the
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results for those billions of dollars, how do we measure what we're doing? a lot of times it's been, if i can say, us vs. you and i appreciate all the work you all do, the men and women but as mr. thompson said, a lot of times we as the oversight individuals, were not given information until later. for example, the border conditions index, i vvent seen it, i have no idea who is putting that together. david aguilar and i talked about it, he gave me the same answer, you all are working on it. we don't know what -- with is putting the information to this border condition and i think folks like beto and myself who live on the border, folks that live there, we've got our family there is, we had our businesses there, we had everything there. we want to know what performance measures are being used to measure the border?
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i will tell you, i had michael mccaul in my house, stay there with me, my wife and two kids, and secure as a happy lark, he was happy there. we walk around -- we didn't walk around with secure guards or anything like that everybody has a perception of what border security. is what we need is we need your help so we can all agree finally what a secure border is. i'm one of those, i feel that the border is secure. do we need to do more? yes, i think we need to do more. this is why we ask the g.a.o. to do this comp reshensive -- comprehensively, because in the past, we had two individuals paid a little bit of money to do a report, called the border a war zone. laredo is more secure than washington, d.c. the murder rate is higher here than other areas. but we've got to come to an agleement as to what measures, otherwise, democrats are going
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to say it's secure, republicans say it's not. and we're never going to get -- so hopefully we can get your help in giving us that information so we can all come down to the same measurement. before my time is over, i have to ask you, who is involved in preparing the border condition index? what consultants are involved in this? mr. fisher? >> i'm not aware of which consultants. i know that within u.s. customs and border protections, mr. mark borkoski had to leave to help staff that but i'm not aware of any consultants. >> thank you. >> in the interest of time, again, we have a hard deadline of noon or before but i know that it sounds like some of the members may like to have followups, so if there are, we'll go to two minutes for questions. start with the ranking member.
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>> madam chair, thank you very much. thank the members very much. let me just say that i will quickly make these points, i think the viges focuses more on drug cartels and gun trafficking and various guns and two or three people walking on the border though it is of great concern. i'm going to ask some rapid fire questions. chief, fisher, i'd like to know your explanation as to why operational control may not be the best terminology. i'd like to ask my good friend dr. rosenbaum to try to match the value of comprehensive immigration form or border security, how the two may be parallel and i'd like my friend from the g.a.o. to assess how she believes the c.d.p. is responding to the recommendations you have made. finally let me say that i empathize with my friend from pennsylvania, having been here during 9/11, but i will say that
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overstays can be handled through a comprehensive immigration reform and coming from texas, i want to help ranchers and farmers and i hope that the chief will listen and that's why i asked the question about operational control, move border patrol agents to these areas and can you do so when there is a need to protect ranchers and farmers? i thank the chairwoman. >> first question, in terms of operational control. i know three years ago, i vehemently came out and said, no, no operational control. it's not because i'm against that term, by the way. it's because of the way it was being used synonymously with security at the time. as we look at its origination and being a tactical term for us to deploy, redeploy resources and measure that in a linear fashion, i didn't think it was synonymous with security given the context in which it was
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being used outside of the organization. i wanted to be clear on that. i think the direction this committee is handling in particular with the leadership of the chairwoman, it gets us back on track regardless of what we call it, what is it we're looking to measure, that being outcomes not necessarily outputs. one of the challenges we have in moving and the third pillar of our strategy softball rapid response, how do we, when we have the intelligence, in an integrated fashion, have to move border patrol agents. some of them include three things in particular. one when it comes to a negotiated agreement with the union, there are things within the collective bargaining agreement that prevents us doing the flexibility and mobility we need to. we would work with the union to minimize and negotiate any impact in negotiations. two, the office of personnel management, with the rules and regulations sometimes in the manner in which we want to move
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border patrol agents within those rules and regulations doesn't allow me the flexibility to do that at times. three as we discussed the uncertainty in terms of budget. >> ms. jackson lee, thank you for the question. i think that one of the points that's come up today from several of the questioners and several of the comments on the panel is how important it is to think about border security in a systemic context, that we're concerned about flows across the border, concerned about illegal flows through the port, concerned about overstays and the tools put in place right on the border are several tools that also occur in the context of what we're doing at work site, what we're doing within the country, what our admissions policies look like so to focus just on the border by itself, to aim for a number versus thinking about the whole systemic approach, i think it's come up over and over again, that systemic approach has to be how we think about the approach.
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>> thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina. >> thank you, madam chairman. just in the times of budget constraints and what not, i'd like chief fisher to talk with me a little bit about how you work with local law enforcement, local ranchers, ranch security as a force multiplier in securing the border. >> thank you, sir. that's an important point, by the way. in the strategy we call that community engagement. we recognize even with finite resources, the border is very broad. the space in which we operate is vast, as you well know. our ability to work with much of the state, local, and tribal law enforcement operations that have the duty and responsibility to enforce those laws and to assist us in the same common goals and protecting this country but it's the community. if the business own -- it's the business owners that operate in and around the border as well. they have a whole different perspective in terms of things that they are seeing, think know
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what is odd in a particular area, and they know what belongs in a particular area. our responsibility is to wring them in as communities of interest and explain to them not just what we're doing and hope they like us more but understand specifically what the threats are as defined by the intelligence community, defined by our perspective and the area in which we operate and make them aware of that so that other time, this is worked over the past year in south texas in particular, with some of the increase in business in terms of the oil industry down there. we've had great cooperation with the industry because we're explaining to them that some of the tactics, techniques and procedures that the criminal organizations are using in that area, and they have often giving -- given us information we wouldn't have otherwise gotten about illegal activity there because we explain what had our zwrat strategy is, the objectives we're trying to achieve tand they have a better -- >> are you shifting resources when you receive that information about where there may be a threat? >> yes, sir.
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>> ok. that's good. i just -- just one quick question for ms. gambler. t.s.a., you've got global entry program and you have a t.s.a. preprogram, is there any talk of combining those for efficiency measures? >> i'm not aware of anything specifically like that but let me say we do have some ongoing work we're initiating to look at the trusted traveler programs including the global entry programs. we'll be looking at that going forward in part for the subcommittee. >> i guess t.s.a. free is more internal u.s. domestic flights. we need to make it easier for domestic frequent travelers to fly within the united states. >> thank you. i certainly want to again thank all the witnesses. i think your testimony has been very, very help. to the subcommittee. as we take a step back here and ask that question again, what does a secure border actually
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look like and how do we get there, how do we measure it, etc. i appreciate your testimony. i know the ranking member had two questions and we would ask for g.a.o. in particular to -- and the chief, respond in writing to the ranking member's question and i remind every member of the committee as well that the hearing record will be open for 10 days so if they have further questions or comments, we can pursue that avenue as well. without objection, this committee stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> on the next "washington journal" a debate on the voting rights case being argued before the supreme court. our guests are ari berman of of "the nation" and hance von spakovsky of heritage foundation. then phil roe of tennessee and adam schiff of california will discuss the impact it will have on stair tate states.

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CSPAN February 26, 2013 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Texas 16, Virginia 14, Fisher 13, Washington 12, Hawaii 10, Madam 9, Chuck Hagel 7, Jackson Lee 6, El Paso 6, Napolitano 5, Guatemala 5, Navy 5, Newport 5, Arizona 5, Miller 5, San Diego 4, Ms. Jackson Lee 4, Tucson 4, Etc. 4, Thompson 3
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